State Issues Statement on Illinois Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Constitutionality of Employee Classification Act

Act Prohibits Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors; Protects Workers Rights to Earned Compensation, Benefits, and Overtime


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) Director Joseph Costigan issued a statement on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the state’s Employee Classification Act, which protects individuals working in the construction industry from being misclassified as independent contractors and ensures a level playing field within the industry. The Court rejected a constitutional challenge posed by a roofing contractor that claimed the law violates “due process rights and is impermissibly vague,” (Bartlow v. Costigan, Ill., No. 2014 IL 115152, 2/21/14) and stated the law was constitutional on Feb 21. Since the law went into effect in 2008, the Department has conducted 111 investigations and collected $314,325.70 in penalties.

Director Costigan’s statement:

“The Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling is a victory for Illinois workers and taxpayers.

“Misclassifying employees as independent contractors means payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation premiums and overtime do not get paid.  Misclassifying workers is illegal, places an unfair tax burden on workers, and costs the State of Illinois up to $700 million a year in lost taxes and payments.

“Last year, Governor Quinn signed legislation that strengthens our authority to crack down on illegal practices and to ensure hard-working families are paid what they’re owed. The Court’s decision helps us in the fight against those practices.

We thank the Illinois Attorney General’s office for their continued assistance.”