(820 ILCS 255/17)
(from Ch. 48, par. 1417)
(a) An employee, employee representative or employer who alleges
that he or she has been denied his or her rights under this Act may, within
180 days of the alleged denial or after first learning of the alleged denial,
file a complaint alleging a violation of the Act with the Department. The
Department shall investigate the complaint and shall have authority to request
the issuance of a search warrant or subpoena to inspect the files or premises
of an employer, manufacturer, importer or supplier, if necessary. The Department
shall attempt to resolve the complaint by conference, conciliation, or persuasion.
If the complaint is not so resolved and the Department finds probable cause
to believe a violation has occurred, the Department shall proceed with notice
and a hearing on the complaint.
(b) The hearing will be held within 60 days of receipt by the party alleged
to have committed a violation of the Act, hereafter referred to as the respondent,
of the complaint and the hearing notice. At the hearing, the employee,
employee representative or employer and the respondent shall have the right
to present evidence, to be represented by counsel or labor union representatives,
and to cross-examine witnesses. In addition, the Director shall promulgate
rules providing for the issuance of subpoenas to compel witnesses to attend
the hearing and for orderly prehearing exchange of information and documents
by the complaining employee, employee representatives or employer and the respondent.
(c) Remedies. The Director shall issue a decision and order within 30
days after the hearing. If the Director finds that an employer, manufacturer,
importer, supplier or other person has violated this Act, he shall order
the violator to cease and desist violating and may order the violator to
institute an education and training program, provide the requested information,
reinstate an employee and provide back pay to an employee, and assess attorney's
fees and hearing costs.
(d) Penalties for violation. Any employer, manufacturer, importer, supplier,
or other person who, in a hearing held pursuant to this Section is found
by the Director to be in violation of the Act shall forfeit not more than
$1,000 for each such violation. Any person who wilfully or repeatedly violates
any provision of this Act or an order of the Director issued pursuant to
this Section shall forfeit not more than $10,000 for each such violation.
(e) Punitive damages. The Director of the Department is authorized to
assess punitive damages against any employer, manufacturer, importer, supplier
or other person, who knowingly and wilfully violates any of the provisions
of this Act. Punitive damages shall not exceed 10 times the total monetary
amount owed by
the liable party pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this Section or
$20,000, whichever is larger.
(f) Any party to the hearing adversely affected by a final decision pursuant
to subsections (c), (d), or (e) of this Section may obtain judicial review
by filing a petition under the Administrative Review Law of the Code of
Civil Procedure within 35 days of the decision; except that, where the Director
has failed to issue a decision within 30 days after the hearing, the complainant
shall have the right to file his or her complaint as an original action
in the circuit court of this State. The remedies available in such an original
action shall be the same as those specified in subsections (c), (d) and
(e) of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 83-240.)