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Public Act 098-0527


 

Public Act 0527 98TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 098-0527
 
SB1568 EnrolledLRB098 07682 JLS 37755 b

    AN ACT concerning employment.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act is
amended by changing Sections 11 and 14 as follows:
 
    (820 ILCS 115/11)  (from Ch. 48, par. 39m-11)
    Sec. 11. It shall be the duty of the Department of Labor to
inquire diligently for any violations of this Act, and to
institute the actions for penalties herein provided, and to
enforce generally the provisions of this Act.
    An employee may file a complaint with the Department
alleging violations of the Act by submitting a signed,
completed wage claim application on the form provided by the
Department and by submitting copies of all supporting
documentation. Complaints shall be filed within one year after
the wages, final compensation, or wage supplements were due.
    Applications shall be reviewed by the Department to
determine whether there is cause for investigation.
    The Department shall have the following powers:
        (a) To investigate and attempt equitably to adjust
    controversies between employees and employers in respect
    of wage claims arising under this Act and to that end the
    Department through the Director of Labor or any other
    person in the Department of Labor designated by him or her,
    shall have the power to administer oaths, subpoena and
    examine witnesses, to issue subpoenas duces tecum
    requiring the production of such books, papers, records and
    documents as may be evidence of any matter under inquiry
    and to examine and inspect the same as may relate to the
    question in dispute. Service of such subpoenas shall be
    made by any sheriff or any person. Any court in this State,
    upon the application of the Department may compel
    attendance of witnesses, the production of books and
    papers, and the giving of testimony before the Department
    by attachment for contempt or in any other way as the
    production of evidence may be compelled before such court.
        (b) To take assignments of wage claims in the name of
    the Director of Labor and his or her successors in office
    and prosecute actions for the collection of wages for
    persons financially unable to prosecute such claims when in
    the judgment of the Department such claims are valid and
    enforceable in the courts. No court costs or any fees for
    necessary process and proceedings shall be payable in
    advance by the Department for prosecuting such actions. In
    the event there is a judgment rendered against the
    defendant, the court shall assess as part of such judgment
    the costs of such proceeding. Upon collection of such
    judgments the Department shall pay from the proceeds of
    such judgment such costs to such person who is by law
    entitled to same. The Department may join in a single
    proceeding any number of wage claims against the same
    employer but the court shall have discretionary power to
    order a severance or separate trial for hearings.
        (c) To make complaint in any court of competent
    jurisdiction of violations of this Act.
        (d) In addition to the aforementioned powers, subject
    to appropriation, the Department may establish an
    administrative procedure to adjudicate claims or specific
    categories of claims filed with the Department for $3,000
    or less per individual employee, exclusive of penalties,
    costs and fines, including instances where an employer
    fails to timely respond to a notice of claim issued by the
    Department; and to issue final and binding administrative
    decisions on such claims subject to the Administrative
    Review Law. To establish such a procedure, the Director of
    Labor or her or his authorized representative may
    promulgate rules and regulations. The adoption, amendment
    or rescission of rules and regulations for such a procedure
    shall be in conformity with the requirements of the
    Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.
    Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent any employee
from making complaint or prosecuting his or her own claim for
wages. Any employee aggrieved by a violation of this Act or any
rule adopted under this Act may file suit in circuit court of
Illinois, in the county where the alleged violation occurred or
where any employee who is party to the action resides, without
regard to exhaustion of any alternative administrative
remedies provided in this Act. Actions may be brought by one or
more employees for and on behalf of themselves and other
employees similarly situated.
    Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the authority of
the State's attorney of any county to prosecute actions for
violation of this Act or to enforce the provisions thereof
independently and without specific direction of the Department
of Labor.
(Source: P.A. 95-209, eff. 8-16-07; 96-1407, eff. 1-1-11.)
 
    (820 ILCS 115/14)  (from Ch. 48, par. 39m-14)
    Sec. 14. (a) Any employee not timely paid wages, final
compensation, or wage supplements by his or her employer as
required by this Act shall be entitled to recover through a
claim filed with the Department of Labor or in a civil action,
but not both, the amount of any such underpayments and damages
of 2% of the amount of any such underpayments for each month
following the date of payment during which such underpayments
remain unpaid. In a civil action, such employee shall also
recover costs and all reasonable attorney's fees.
    (a-5) In addition to the remedies provided in subsections
(a), (b), and (c) of this Section, any employer or any agent of
an employer, who, being able to pay wages, final compensation,
or wage supplements and being under a duty to pay, wilfully
refuses to pay as provided in this Act, or falsely denies the
amount or validity thereof or that the same is due, with intent
to secure for himself or other person any underpayment of such
indebtedness or with intent to annoy, harass, oppress, hinder,
delay or defraud the person to whom such indebtedness is due,
upon conviction, is guilty of:
        (1) for unpaid wages, final compensation or wage
    supplements in the amount of $5,000 or less, a Class B
    misdemeanor; or
        (2) for unpaid wages, final compensation or wage
    supplements in the amount of more than $5,000, a Class A
    misdemeanor.
    Each day during which any violation of this Act continues
shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
    Any employer or any agent of an employer who violates this
Section of the Act a subsequent time within 2 years of a prior
criminal conviction under this Section is guilty, upon
conviction, of a Class 4 felony.
    (b) Any employer who has been demanded or ordered by the
Department or ordered by the court to pay wages, final
compensation, or wage supplements due an employee shall be
required to pay a non-waivable administrative fee of $250 to
the Department of Labor in the amount of $250 if the amount
ordered by the Department as wages owed is $3,000 or less; $500
if the amount ordered by the Department as wages owed is more
than $3,000, but less than $10,000; and $1,000 if the amount
ordered by the Department as wages owed is $10,000 or more. Any
employer who has been so demanded or ordered by the Department
or ordered by a court to pay such wages, final compensation, or
wage supplements and who fails to seek timely review of such a
demand or order as provided for under this Act and who fails to
comply within 15 calendar days after such demand or within 35
days of an administrative or court order is entered shall also
be liable to pay a penalty to the Department of Labor of 20% of
the amount found owing and a penalty to the employee of 1% per
calendar day of the amount found owing for each day of delay in
paying such wages to the employee. All moneys recovered as fees
and civil penalties under this Act, except those owing to the
affected employee, shall be deposited into the Wage Theft
Enforcement Fund, a special fund which is hereby created in the
State treasury. Moneys in the Fund may be used only for
enforcement of this Act.
    (b-5) Penalties and fees under this Section may be assessed
by the Department and recovered in a civil action brought by
the Department in any circuit court or in any administrative
adjudicative proceeding under this Act. In any such civil
action or administrative adjudicative proceeding under this
Act, the Department shall be represented by the Attorney
General.
    (c) Any employer, or any agent of an employer, who
discharges or in any other manner discriminates against any
employee because that employee has made a complaint to his
employer, to the Director of Labor or his authorized
representative, in a public hearing, or to a community
organization that he or she has not been paid in accordance
with the provisions of this Act, or because that employee has
caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this
Act, or because that employee has testified or is about to
testify in an investigation or proceeding under this Act, is
guilty, upon conviction, of a Class C misdemeanor. An employee
who has been unlawfully retaliated against shall be entitled to
recover through a claim filed with the Department of Labor or
in a civil action, but not both, all legal and equitable relief
as may be appropriate. In a civil action, such employee shall
also recover costs and all reasonable attorney's fees.
(Source: P.A. 95-209, eff. 8-16-07; 96-1407, eff. 1-1-11.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2014