If you are a nursing mother, an employee, a parent, divorced, or drive in Illinois, you should be aware of the law changes coming in 2019.
A new year brings new laws. Here are the ones you should know about, which go into effect on January 1, 2019.
1. NEW CAR SEAT LAW: Calling all parents! If your child is under the age of 2, you best believe they should be in a rear-facing car seat. The new law states that all children under the age of 2 (unless they are over 40 pounds) must be in a rear-facing car seat. If you are caught not following the law, you could face a first-time fine of $75 and a second-time fine of more than $200.
2. TOUGHER TEXTING AND DRIVING PENALTIES: Whatever you do, don’t text and drive. No matter how dumb you know it is to do so, you still do. Stop that, stop that now. If you’re caught texting while driving in 2019, you’ll be issued a moving violation that will go on your driving record. Get three of those bad boys in a 12-month period, you’ll be sitting on the couch texting because you will have your license suspended.
3. COVER THAT SCHOOL BUS SIGN: In 2019, school buses who are transporting people over the age of 18, who aren’t using the bus with a school or church related event or activity, must cover the ‘School Bus’ sign. Also, the stop signal arm and flashing lights should not be operable either.
4. YOUR KIDS WILL LEARN THE DUTCH REACH METHOD: Which I promise you is not some weird freaky-deaky think you’ll want to try in the bedroom. No, it’s actually about using the hand farthest from the car door to reach across your body to open the door after parallel parking. It’s basically a common reach around used to prevent smacking a person on a bicycle in the face with your car door. All new drivers will now learn this in Driver’s Education.
5. YOUR BOSS OWES YOU SOME MONEY: Well, kinda. The new law states employers must reimburse employees for “all necessary expenses that are incurred by the employee within the employee’s scope of employment and that are directly related to services performed for the employer.” Expenses to consider? Employees’ personal cell phones, home internet and other home office expenses that are necessary for an employee to work from home. Just make sure you turn in your expenditure within 30 days of incurring it.
6. NURSING MOTHERS CAN PUMP WHILE BEING PAID: I’ll tell ya first hand, pumping milk for your newborn is tough work and it takes time. In an 8-hour work day, you may have to pump three or four times. Nursing moms, rest a little easier, if there are more than five employees at your job, your employer must provide reasonable PAID break time to express milk for up to one year after birth. You’ll have to pump during normal break times, like your 30 minute unpaid lunch, but any additional break time where you need to pump, you’ll get paid for that time.
7. THE HEALTH CARE VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT: Will help go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. This will require health care providers to create a workplace violence prevention program to help combat violence against nurses and other health care workers. Also, notices must be posted in the workplace that verbal aggression will not be tolerated and that physical assault will be reported to law enforcement.
8. DIVORCED? SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE CALCULATIONS CHANGE: If you are currently paying spousal maintenance to your ex, how much you pay will change. The biggest takeaway from the 2019 Maintenance Law is that due to recent changes in the IRS code, the calculation method will change. The maintenance payor will not be able to deduct the maintenance payments from their gross income for federal income tax purposes if their Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage (including an award for maintenance) is entered on or after this important date.