Attorney General Madigan Applauds Passage of Legislation to Strengthen Employment Protections for Service Members

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan  applauded Illinois lawmakers for passing legislation to clarify and strengthen laws to ensure that Illinois service members’ employment and rights are protected while they are fulfilling military requirements.

SoldiersMadigan initiated Senate Bill 3547, the Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA), to strengthen and simplify current state laws designed to provide employment protections to service members. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Tom Cullerton and Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, passed the Illinois Senate and House unanimously and will now be sent to the governor.

SB 3547 simplifies existing Illinois law by consolidating all of the provisions, including employment protections for Illinois service members. In doing this, SB 3547 seeks to make it easier for employers to understand and follow the law. The legislation also gives Madigan’s office the authority to file civil lawsuits to enforce ISERRA and requires her office to create the position of ISERRA Advocate to provide training and information to employers and service members. The advocate will be responsible for investigating complaints and drafting the required notice of rights and duties for employers to post.

“When military service members undertake their job to serve our country, they should not lose their civilian jobs at home,” Madigan said. “This legislation strengthens service members’ employment protections, provides training and enforces the law’s requirements to ensure that service members do not return home to find themselves without a job.”

“Service members and their families make innumerable sacrifices for our country, but their non-military employment should not be one of them,” Chapa LaVia said. “Strengthening employment protection laws and helping employers understand how to comply with those laws is just one way we can thank service members and their families.”

Madigan’s Military and Veterans’ Rights Bureau advocates for service members, veterans, and their families and investigates and pursues cases of fraud committed against them, including unlawful advance pension lenders that target veterans and their pension benefits and annuity sales that are misrepresented as effective VA benefit claims assistance. Military service members, veterans and their families can contact Madigan’s Military and Veterans Rights Hotline for help at 1-800-382-3000 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY) or through Madigan’s website.

The Military and Veterans Rights Bureau also provides assistance to service members, including mediating landlord-tenant disputes for service members facing Permanent Change of Station orders that conflict with lease agreements; mediating financial transaction disputes, such as fraudulent credit report entries or erroneous debts; and seeking to obtain compensation owed to veterans or service members on military leave from their primary employer for annual guard/reserve training.