Illinois Supreme Court Protects Workers, Upholds Constitutionality of Employee Classification Act
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 7, 2014 – The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the state’s Employee Classification Act.
The Employee Classification Act protects construction workers from being misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees. In the case, Bartlow v. Costigan, the state high court rejected a constitutional challenge by a roofing company that claimed the law was impermissibly vague and violated due process rights.
“This is an important ruling for workers,” states Robert Briskman, a Chicago work injury attorney. “When employees are misclassified as independent contractors, their employers avoid paying worker’s compensation premiums, unemployment insurance and overtime, putting workers at risk.”
The court’s February 21 decision upholds one of the strongest worker classification statutes in the country. The law creates a presumption that an individual performing construction services is an employee unless the company can prove otherwise.
As with the laws in many other states, to prove that an individual is an independent contractor, the company must show that the individual is free from control and direction by the company in the manner and means of performing the services; that the service is not in the usual scope of services that the company performs; and that the individual has an independent business or trade.
However, the Illinois law goes a step further, applying the employee presumption not just to individuals, but also to sole proprietorships and partnerships. These are deemed individuals unless an additional 12-factor test is met, showing that the entity is a self-sustaining business. The factors include showing that the entity has made a substantial capital investment and that it serves the general public.
The Illinois Department of Labor said that the misclassification of employees costs the state up to $700 million per year in lost payments and taxes.
Violations of the law subject the employer to penalties. Each day of misclassification for each worker is considered a separate violation. A first offense can bring a penalty of up to $1,000, with willful violations resulting in triple damages and subsequent violations resulting in double damages.
The Department said it has collected $314,325 in penalties resulting from 111 separate investigations since the law went into effect in 2008.
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654
Facebook: Like Us!
Google+ Contact a Chicago personal injury attorney from Briskman Briskman & Greenberg on Google+.
- Chicago Drivers Who Ignore Crosswalks Face Penalties
Chicago police have begun a series of traffic enforcement stings intended to help prevent accidents involving pedestrians in crosswalks. Many Chicago drivers are unaware that they are required to stop their cars when they encounter pedestrians in marked crosswalks, even when they are crossing the street midblock. Indeed, many Chicago drivers fail to yield, much [...]
- Cerebral palsy among the most serious birth injuries
Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious injuries that can be caused by medical malpractice during labor or delivery. The condition can be caused by a deficiency of oxygen to the child’s brain, and the effects can last a lifetime. Cerebral palsy includes a number of different neurological disorders that have a negative effect [...]
- Age Restriction in Park Not a Liability Shield
The Chicago Park District must do more to publicize playground age restrictions if it wants them to be the basis of legal immunity, a state appeals panel has ruled. The First District Appellate Court, in an unpublished order decision by Justice Robert E. Gordon, found that signs must be posted at the park and that [...]
- Personal injury claim not barred by workers’ compensation exclusivity, Illinois Appellate Court rules
An Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled that a worker who allegedly sustained exposure to asbestos while working for his employer between 1966 and 1970 was not barred from pursuing a personal injury claim by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The claim was not compensable under the Act, as the statute [...]
- Many misdiagnosis errors go unreported
Medical errors involving surgery or drug mistakes receive a lot of attention, perhaps in part because it is often obvious that an error has been made. But research indicates that misdiagnosis may be a far more common type of medical mistake. Experts in patient safety say that misdiagnosis, which can include delayed, missed or incorrect [...]