Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0161
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Full Text of SB0161  101st General Assembly


Sen. John F. Curran

Filed: 3/20/2019





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 161 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 5. The Attorney General Act is amended by adding
5Sections 6.3 and 6.4 as follows:
6    (15 ILCS 205/6.3 new)
7    Sec. 6.3. Worker Protection Unit.
8    (a) The General Assembly finds that the welfare and
9prosperity of all Illinois citizens and businesses requires the
10establishment of a Unit within the Attorney General's Office
11dedicated to combatting businesses that underpay their
12employees, force their employees to work in unsafe conditions,
13and gain an unfair economic advantage by avoiding their tax and
14labor responsibilities. The Worker Protection Unit shall be
15focused on protecting the State's workforce to ensure workers
16are paid properly, guarantee safe workplaces, and allow



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1law-abiding business owners to thrive through healthy and fair
2competition. Businesses that violate the State's worker
3protection laws put a greater burden on taxpayers by hurting
4the State's ability to provide critical services; compliant
5businesses cannot compete against those who gain an unfair
6advantage by evading their responsibilities.
7    (b) There is created within the Office of the Attorney
8General a Worker Protection Unit, consisting of Assistant
9Attorneys General appointed by the Attorney General, who,
10together with other staff as deemed necessary by the Attorney
11General, shall have the power and duty on behalf of persons
12within this State, to intervene in, initiate, and enforce all
13legal proceedings on matters related to the payment of wages,
14the safety of the workplace, and fair employment practices,
15including, without limitation, the provisions of the
16Prevailing Wage Act, the Employee Classification Act, the
17Minimum Wage Law, the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, or
18the Wage Payment and Collection Act, whenever the Attorney
19General determines that such action is necessary to protect the
20rights and interests of Illinois workers and Illinois
22    (c) Prior to initiating an action, the Attorney General
23shall conduct an investigation and may: (1) require an
24individual or entity to file a statement or report in writing
25under oath or otherwise, as to all information the Attorney
26General may consider necessary; (2) examine under oath any



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1person alleged to have participated in or with knowledge of the
2alleged violation; or (3) issue subpoenas or conduct hearings
3in aid of any investigation.
4    (d) In an action brought under this Section, the Attorney
5General may obtain, as a remedy, monetary damages to the State,
6restitution, and equitable relief, including any permanent or
7preliminary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other
8order, including an order enjoining the defendant from engaging
9in a violation, or order any action as may be appropriate. In
10addition, the Attorney General may request and the court may
11impose a civil penalty against any person or entity found by
12the court to have violated the Prevailing Wage Act, the
13Employee Classification Act, the Minimum Wage Law, the Day and
14Temporary Labor Services Act, the Wage Payment and Collection
15Act, or any other law related to the payment of wages, the
16safety of the workplace, or fair employment practices, in a sum
17not to exceed the maximum amount of any civil penalty
18prescribed by law. Neither the State nor an aggrieved
19individual may recover monetary relief, including civil
20penalties, in more than one proceeding related to the same
22    (e) Upon the Attorney General's request, the Illinois
23Department of Labor shall provide any materials or documents
24already in the Department's possession pertaining to the
25enforcement of this Section. The Office of the Attorney General
26may use information obtained under this Section, including



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1information that is designated as and that qualifies for
2confidential treatment, which information the Attorney
3General's Office shall maintain as confidential, for law
4enforcement purposes only, which information may be shared with
5other law enforcement officials. Nothing in this Section is
6intended to take away or limit any powers of the Attorney
7General under common law or other statutory law.
8    (15 ILCS 205/6.4 new)
9    Sec. 6.4. Worker Protection Unit Task Force.
10    (a) There is created a Worker Protection Task Force within
11the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. The Task Force
12shall be coordinated by the Office of the Attorney General to
13promote a statewide outreach and enforcement effort to target
14businesses that violate the State's worker protection laws. The
15purpose of the Task Force shall be to:
16        (1) create a coalition in Illinois dedicated to
17    protecting the State's workforce and law-abiding
18    businesses;
19        (2) facilitate the timely sharing of information
20    between Task Force members relating to suspected worker
21    exploitation;
22        (3) promote the refinement of targeting methods and
23    best practices, and develop strategies to systemically
24    investigate worker exploitation; and
25        (4) work cooperatively with labor and community



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1    organizations, businesses and business coalitions, and
2    other advocacy groups to increase public awareness on the
3    underground economy in an effort to promote fairness,
4    combat discrimination, and protect the welfare of the
5    State.
6    (b) The Task Force shall consist of:
7        (1) the Illinois Attorney General;
8        (2) Assistant Attorneys General, assigned at the
9    discretion of the Illinois Attorney General;
10        (3) three elected State's Attorneys of Illinois, or
11    their designees, selected by the Attorney General;
12        (4) the Director of Labor or his or her designee;
13        (5) the Director of Employment Security or his or her
14    designee;
15        (6) the Director of Human Rights or his or her
16    designee; and
17        (7) the chairperson of the Illinois Workers'
18    Compensation Commission or his or her designee.
19    (c) The Task Force shall elect a chairperson from its
20membership and shall have the authority to determine its own
21meeting schedule, hearing schedule, and agendas. Members of the
22Task Force shall serve without compensation.
23    (d) The Task Force shall submit a report to the Governor
24and the General Assembly regarding its progress no later than
25December 1, 2020.
26    (e) This Section is repealed December 1, 2021.".