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Governor Quinn Urges Fairer Wages for Women On Equal Pay Day in Illinois
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State Presents Governor’s 2014 Downstate Occupational Safety and Health Award Posthumously to Former IDOT Safety Training Manager
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Actor Martin Sheen Joins Governor Quinn’s Fight to Raise the Minimum Wage
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January 1, 2014 Brings Changes for Illinois Labor Laws
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Constitutionality of ECA Upheld by Illinois Supreme Court
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today joined local elected officials to recognize Equal Pay Day and raise awareness of the disparity that remains between workplace earnings among women and men. This date, proclaimed by the Governor and designated by the Illinois General Assembly, marks how far into the current year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year. Today’s observance is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to drive economic growth and ensure that all Illinois workers are treated fairly.
Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) Director Joseph Costigan presented a Governor’s Award for Excellence Occupational Health and Safety Award posthumously to Russ W. Ridder, former IDOT Safety Training Manager who passed away in 2011 and was recently nominated for the award. The Governor’s Award recognizes the contributions and efforts of individuals who have made a significant impact on occupational safety and health in downstate Illinois. Dir. Costigan presented the award to Ridder’s widow, Nanci, at the 23rd Annual Downstate Illinois Occupational Safety & Health (DIOSH) Day event on Wednesday, March 5.
Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by actor Martin Sheen to continue his ongoing fight to raise Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 to at least $10. Last year the Governor proposed raising the minimum wage in his 2013 State of the State address and today’s visit to Chicago’s historic St. Pius V Church is part of his agenda to build an economy that works for everyone.
The Illinois Department of Labor is highlighting changes to labor laws that are effective as of January 1, 2014. These changes include an increase in the number of years contractors, subcontractors and the public body must maintain Prevailing Wage records on a project. and additional reporting requirements for filing certified payrolls with the Department. Also, all claims filed under the Wage Payment and Collection Act - regardless of amount - will be heard through the Department’s formal hearing process. The Employee Classification Act (ECA), which now allows for a formal hearing process to take place during Investigations, adds a personal liability clause for knowingly violating the Act and updates reporting requirements. In addition to the remedial benefits for loss of wages and benefits misclassified employees may be entitled under the Act, 10% of the civil penalties recovered by the Department will now be distributed to all affected employees.
On Friday, February 21, 2014 the Illinois Supreme Court released a decision in Bartlow v. Costigan holding the Illinois Employee Classification Act to be Constitutional. The Employee Classification Act, referred to as ECA, prohibits the improper classification of employees who work in the construction industry as independent contractors. The penalties under the Act for misclassification can be up to $1,000 per day for each person misclassified. The full Act, which was recently amended and includes reporting requirements effective January 1, 2015, can be found here.
Read the full Illinois Supreme Court decision