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"Employer" means any person or entity, private or public,
who has one or more employees in the current or preceding
calendar year, and any agent of such an entity or person.
"Public employer" means the State, an agency, department,
commission, board, political subdivision, or instrumentality
thereof, a unit of local government, or a school district.
"Employment agency" means any person or entity regularly
undertaking with or without compensation to procure employees
for an employer or to procure for employees opportunities to
work for an employer and includes an agent of such a person.
"Employment" means any occupation or vocation.
(a) An employer or employment agency may not inquire about
or into, consider, or require disclosure of the criminal record
or criminal history of an applicant until the applicant has
been determined qualified for the position and notified that
the applicant has been selected for an interview by the
employer or employment agency or, if there is not an interview,
until after a conditional offer of employment is made to the
applicant by the employer or employment agency.
(b) The requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this
Section do not apply for positions where employers are required
to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions from
employment due to federal or State law.
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Private employer violations.
(a) The Illinois Department of Labor shall investigate any
alleged violations of this Act by a private employer or
employment agency. If the Department finds that a violation has
occurred, the Director of Labor may impose the following civil
(1) For the first violation, the Director shall issue a
written warning to the employer or employment agency that
includes notice regarding penalties for subsequent
violations and the employer shall have 30 days to remedy
(2) For the second violation, or if the first violation
is not remedied within 30 days of notice by the Department,
the Director may impose a civil penalty of up to $500;
(3) For the third violation, or if the first violation
is not remedied within 60 days of notice by the Department,
the Director may impose an additional civil penalty of up
(4) For subsequent violations, or if the first
violation is not remedied within 90 days of notice by the
Department, the Director may impose an additional civil
penalty of up to $1,500 for every 30 days that passes
thereafter without compliance.
(b) Penalties 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
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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
(c) All moneys recovered as civil penalties under this
Section shall be deposited into the Job Opportunities for
Qualified Applicants Enforcement Fund, a special fund which is
created in the State treasury. Moneys in the Fund may be used
only to enforce private employer violations of this Act.
Public employer violations.
Any complaints or
grievances concerning alleged violations of Section 10 of this
Act by public employers shall be processed and adjudicated as
(1) Municipalities, units of local government, and
school districts shall be subject to the same provisions
and penalties as private employers under Section 20 of this
Act. The Department of Labor shall provide written warning
to such employers regarding violations, and impose
escalating civil penalties as set forth in Section 20 of
(2) A person who is injured by a violation of this Act
by the State or an agency, department, commission, board,
instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof may
bring a civil action in circuit court to obtain injunctive
relief or damages, or both. The court shall award costs,
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reasonable litigation expenses, and reasonable attorney's
fees to a person who prevails as a plaintiff in an action
authorized under this Section.
The State Finance Act is amended by adding
Section 5.855 as follows:
(30 ILCS 105/5.855 new)
The Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants
This Act takes effect January