» Illinois Supreme Court Protects Workers, Upholds Constitutionality of Employee Classification Act

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
Phone: 312.222.0010
Facebook: Like Us!
Google+ Contact a Chicago personal injury attorney from Briskman Briskman & Greenberg on Google+.

  • Judge dismisses Illinois wrongful death lawsuit
    An Illinois judge has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit over the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found in the apartment of a man she had dated. The wrongful death lawsuit, filed by Molly Young’s father, was dismissed by Judge W. Charles Grace of the Jackson County Circuit Court. The lawsuit had been ...
  • Legislators Push for Reforms While Fiat Chrysler Receives a Record Fine – Podcast
    This month’s Chicago Injury Alerts talks about Fiat Chrysler’s record fine and the battle in congress to make cars safer.
  • Family files wrongful death lawsuit against medical scope manufacturer over deadly superbug infection
    A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of a woman who died, allegedly from a drug-resistant superbug infection after being examined with a medical scope. The lawsuit was filed by the family of Antonia Torres Cerda, 48, who died in November, and was allegedly infected by deadly bacteria following a liver transplant. ...
  • Illinois doctor seeks to dismiss medical malpractice lawsuit
    An Illinois doctor seeks dismissal of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against him. The lawsuit claims that the doctor perforated a patient’s bladder during a hysterectomy. The doctor’s motion to dismiss claims that a report by a reviewing health care professional was not filed on time. According to the lawsuit, an outpatient hysterectomy and oophorectomy ...
  • Bill seeks to limit workers’ compensation
    An Illinois state senator has introduced legislation that would alter the state’s workers’ compensation law. State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) introduced a bill that would require “primary causation,” meaning that a claim would be paid only if a worker’s injury was caused primarily by an on-the-job accident. Righter said that the more stringent causation standard ...

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required