Act Prohibits Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors; Protects Workers Rights to Earned Compensation, Benefits, and Overtime
CHICAGO, IL â€“ Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) Director Joseph Costigan issued a statement on the Illinois Supreme Courtâ€™s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the stateâ€™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 â€œdue process rights and is impermissibly vague,â€ (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 Costiganâ€™s statement:
â€œThe Illinois Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling is a victory for Illinois workers and taxpayers.
â€œMisclassifying employees as independent contractors means payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, workerâ€™s compensation premiums and overtime do not get paid.Â 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.
â€œLast 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 Courtâ€™s decision helps us in the fight against those practices.
We thank the Illinois Attorney Generalâ€™s office for their continued assistance.â€