Rep. Will Guzzardi

Filed: 2/17/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 1122 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Freelance Worker Protection Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
7    "Department" means the Department of Labor.
8    "Director" means the Director of Labor, or his or her
10    "Freelance worker" means a natural person who is hired or
11retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to
12provide products or services in Illinois or for a hiring party
13located in Illinois in exchange for an amount equal to or
14greater than $500, either by itself or when aggregated with
15all contracts for products or services between the same hiring
16party and the freelance worker during the immediately



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1preceding 120 days. "Freelance worker" does not include an
2individual performing services as an employee under Section 10
3of the Employee Classification Act or an employee as defined
4in Section 2 of the Wage Payment and Collection Act.
5    "Hiring party" means any person who retains a freelance
6worker to provide any service, other than:
7        (1) the United States government;
8        (2) the State of Illinois;
9        (3) a unit of local government; or
10        (4) any foreign government.
11    "Natural person" means an individual human being.
12    "Person" means any natural person, individual,
13corporation, business enterprise or other legal entity, either
14public or private, and any legal successor, representative,
15agent or agency of that individual, corporation, business
16enterprise, or legal entity.
17    Section 10. Payment of compensation for freelance workers.
18    (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, a freelance
19worker shall be paid the contracted compensation amount no
20later than 30 days after the freelance worker provides the
21product or completes the services under the contract.
22    (b) Once a freelance worker has commenced preparation of
23the product or performance of the services under the contract,
24the hiring party shall not require as a condition of timely
25payment that the freelance worker accept less compensation



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1than the amount of the contracted compensation.
2    Section 15. Contract for products and services of
3freelance workers.
4    (a) Whenever a hiring party retains a freelance worker,
5the contract for such products or services shall be reduced to
6writing and signed by the freelance worker and the hiring
7party. The hiring party shall furnish a copy of the written
8contract, either physically or electronically, to the
9freelance worker and each party to the written contract shall
10retain a copy thereof.
11    (b) The written contract for the product and service of a
12freelance worker shall include, at a minimum, the following
14        (1) the name and mailing address of both the hiring
15    party and the freelance worker;
16        (2) an itemization of all products and services to be
17    provided by the freelance worker, the value of the
18    products and services to be provided under the terms of
19    the contract, and the rate and method of compensation;
20        (3) the date on which the hiring party must pay the
21    contracted compensation or the mechanism by which such
22    date will be determined; and
23        (4) the date by which a freelance worker must submit a
24    list of products or services rendered under such contract
25    to the hiring party in order to meet any internal



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1    processing deadlines of the hiring party for the purposes
2    of compensation being timely render by the agreed-upon
3    date as stipulated in paragraph (3).
4    (c) The Department may adopt rules as necessary to enforce
5this Act, including, but not limited to, requiring additional
6terms to ensure that the freelance worker and the hiring party
7understand their obligations under the contract.
8    (d) The hiring party shall retain the contract for the
9service of a freelance worker for no less than 6 years and
10shall make such contract available to the Department upon
11request. The failure of the hiring party to produce such
12contract within 5 business days upon the request of the
13Department shall give rise to a presumption that the terms the
14freelance worker has presented are the agreed upon terms.
15    (e) The Department shall make available model contracts on
16its website for use by the general public at no cost. Such
17model contracts shall be made available in English and in the 8
18languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient
19individuals in the State.
20    Section 20. Nondiscrimination. No hiring party shall
21threaten, intimidate, discipline, harass, deny a freelance
22opportunity to, or take any other action that penalizes a
23freelance worker for, or is reasonably likely to deter a
24freelance worker from, exercising or attempting to exercise
25any right guaranteed by this Act, or from obtaining any future



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1work opportunity because the freelance worker has done so.
2    Section 25. Enforcement.
3    (a) It shall be the duty of the Department to inquire
4diligently for any violations of this Act, and to institute
5the actions for penalties provided by this Act, and to enforce
6generally the provisions of this Act.
7    (b) A freelance worker may file a complaint with the
8Department alleging violations of the Act by submitting a
9signed, completed compensation claim application on the form
10provided by the Department and by submitting copies of all
11supporting documentation. The form provided by the Department
12shall include requests for information to facilitate its
13report making requirements under Section 50, including, (1)
14the general sector or occupation of the freelance worker
15submitting a claim under this Act, (2) the county where the
16work by the freelance worker was performed, and (3) the
17demographic data of the freelance worker submitting a claim
18under this Act, to be provided by the freelance worker on a
19voluntary basis. Complaints alleging violation of Section 15
20shall be filed within 2 years after the date the final
21compensation was due. Complaints alleging violation of Section
2210 shall be filed within 3 years after the date the final
23compensation was due. Applications shall be reviewed by the
24Department to determine whether there is cause for
25investigation. Failure of a hiring party to keep adequate



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1records or provide written contract as required by this Act
2shall not operate as a bar to a freelance worker filing a
3complaint. The Department shall keep the names of freelance
4workers who are the subject of an investigation confidential
5until such time that disclosure is necessary for resolution of
6an investigation or complaint.
7    (c) Each freelance worker who files a completed
8compensation claim application alleging a violation of this
9Act or a rule adopted thereunder shall be provided with a
10written description of the anticipated processing of the
11complaint, including investigation, case conference, potential
12civil and criminal penalties, and collection procedures. Each
13freelance worker and his or her authorized representative
14shall be notified in writing of any case conference before it
15is held and given the opportunity to attend. Each freelance
16worker and his or her authorized representative shall be
17notified in writing of any award and collection of civil
19    (d) The Department shall have the power to investigate and
20attempt equitably to adjust controversies between freelance
21workers and hiring entities in respect of compensation claims
22arising under this Act and to that end the Department through
23the Director or any other person in the Department designated
24by him or her, shall have the power to administer oaths,
25subpoena and examine witnesses, to issue subpoenas duces tecum
26requiring the production of such books, papers, records and



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1documents as may be evidence of any matter under inquiry and to
2examine and inspect the same as may relate to the question in
3dispute. Service of such subpoenas shall be made by any
4sheriff or any person. Any court in this State, upon the
5application of the Department may compel attendance of
6witnesses, the production of books and papers, and the giving
7of testimony before the Department by attachment for contempt
8or in any other way as the production of evidence may be
9compelled before such court. The Department may initiate a
10mediation conference.
11    (e) Where reasonable cause exists to believe that a hiring
12party is engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of this
13Act, the Attorney General may commence a civil action on
14behalf of the State in a court of competent jurisdiction. The
15Attorney General may receive injunctive relief, civil
16penalties, and any other relief deemed appropriate by the
18    (f) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent any
19freelance worker from making complaint or prosecuting his or
20her own claim for compensation. Any freelance worker aggrieved
21by a violation of this Act or any rule adopted under this Act
22may file suit in circuit court of Illinois, in the county where
23the alleged violation occurred or where any freelance worker
24who is party to the action resides, without regard to
25exhaustion of any alternative administrative remedies provided
26in this Act. Actions may be brought by one or more freelance



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1workers for and on behalf of themselves and other freelance
2workers similarly situated.
3    (g) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the
4authority of the State's attorney of any county to prosecute
5actions for violation of this Act or to enforce the provisions
6thereof independently and without specific direction of the
8    Section 30. Civil enforcement.
9    (a) Any freelance worker not timely paid final
10compensation by a hiring party as required by Section 10 shall
11be entitled to recover through a claim filed with the
12Department or in a civil action, but not both, double the
13amount of any such underpayments, injunctive relief, and other
14such remedies as may be appropriate. In a civil action for
15violation of Section 10, such freelance worker shall also
16recover costs and all reasonable attorney's fees. Civil
17complaints alleging violation of Section 10 shall be filed
18within 3 years after the date the final compensation was due.
19    (b) Any freelance worker who was retained in violation of
20Section 15 despite the freelance worker's request for a
21written contract prior to commencing the contracted work as
22required by Section 15 shall be entitled to recover through a
23claim filed with the Department or in a civil action, but not
24both, statutory damages of $500. However, a freelance worker
25who prevails on a claim alleging violation of Section 15 and on



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1one or more claims under other Sections shall be awarded
2statutory damages equal to the value of the underlying
3contract or $500, whichever is greater, in addition to the
4other remedies provided. Civil complaints alleging violation
5of Section 15 shall be filed within 2 year after the date the
6final compensation was due.
7    (c) Any freelance worker who is threatened, intimidated,
8disciplined, harassed, denied a freelance opportunity, or
9penalized by a hiring party in violation of Section 20 of this
10Act shall be entitled to recover through a claim filed with the
11Department or in a civil action, but not both, statutory
12damages equal to the value of the underlying contract for each
13violation of Section 20. In a civil action for violation of
14Section 20, such freelance worker shall also recover costs and
15all reasonable attorney's fees.
16    Section 35. Criminal penalties. In addition to the other
17remedies provided in this Act, any hiring party or any agent of
18a hiring party, who, being able to pay final compensation and
19being under a duty to pay, wilfully refuses to pay as provided
20in this Act, or falsely denies the amount or validity thereof
21or that the same is due, with intent to secure for the hiring
22party or other person any underpayment of such indebtedness or
23with intent to annoy, harass, oppress, hinder, delay, or
24defraud the freelance worker to whom such indebtedness is due,
25upon conviction, is guilty of:



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1        (1) for unpaid final compensation in the amount of
2    $5,000 or less, a Class B misdemeanor; or
3        (2) for unpaid final compensation in the amount of
4    more than $5,000, a Class A misdemeanor.
5    Each day during which any violation of this Act continues
6shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
7    Any hiring party or any agent of a hiring party who
8violates this Act a subsequent time within 2 years of a prior
9criminal conviction under this Section is guilty, upon
10conviction, of a Class 4 felony.
11    Section 40. Public policy and intent.
12    (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, any provision of
13a contract purporting to waive rights under this Act is void as
14against public policy.
15    (b) The provisions of this Act are intended to supplement,
16and do not diminish or replace, any other basis of liability,
17remedy, or requirement established by statute or common law.
18    (c) Failure to comply with this Section does not render
19any contract between a hiring party and a freelance worker
20void in total, voidable, or otherwise impair any obligation,
21claim, or right related to the contract, nor does it
22constitute a defense to any action or proceeding to enforce,
23or for breach of, such contract.
24    (d) No provision of this Act relating to freelance workers
25shall be construed as providing a determination about the



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1legal classification of any such worker as an employee or
2independent contractor.
3    Section 45. Public awareness. Subject to appropriation,
4the Department may conduct a public awareness campaign, that
5shall include making information available on its website,
6otherwise informing hiring parties of the provisions of this
7Act, and establishing a means for assistance by a natural
8person through phone or email.
9    Section 50. Reports. One year after the effective date of
10this Act, and by November 1 every 5 years thereafter, the
11Department shall submit to the General Assembly and publish on
12its website a report regarding the effectiveness of this Act
13at improving freelance contracting and payment practices. The
14report shall include, but is not limited to:
15        (1) the number of complaints received;
16        (2) the value of the contracts disaggregated into
17    ranges of $500 and by the Section of this Act the
18    associated hiring party is alleged to have violated;
19        (3) the numbers of responses and non-responses
20    received by the Department disaggregated by contract value
21    into ranges of $500 and by the Section of this Act the
22    associated hiring party is alleged to have violated;
23        (d) the number of freelance workers that pursue their
24    claims of violation of this Act through civil action or an



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1    alternative dispute resolution process, and a summary of
2    the outcomes, if known;
3        (4) the general sector or occupation of the freelance
4    workers submitting claims pursuant to this Act;
5        (5) the counties where violations of this Act are
6    alleged to have occurred, including the number of
7    violations from each county;
8        (6) to the extent available, demographic data of the
9    freelance workers who allege violations of this Act; and
10        (7) legislative recommendations, including
11    consideration of whether certain occupations should be
12    exempted from the scope of the definition of freelance
13    worker.
14    Section 55. Coordination.
15    (a) The Department is authorized to coordinate enforcement
16efforts with other agencies and combine claims under this Act
17with claims under other Acts.
18    (b) The Department is authorized to enter into agreements
19with other states to collect unpaid compensation from
20out-of-state hiring entities and to perform reciprocal
21services for such states in the State of Illinois.
22    Section 60. Rulemaking. The Director, or his authorized
23representatives, shall administer and enforce the provisions
24of this Act. In order to accomplish the objectives of this Act



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1and to carry out the duties prescribed by this Act, the
2Director, or his authorized representative, shall adopt rules
3necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this
4Act, including the procedures that shall be followed for
5hearings under Section 25. The adoption, amendment, or
6rescission of rules shall be in conformity with the
7requirements of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.
8    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,