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+.
- Was This Chicago Accident Preventable?
In this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at whether increased stop signs and traffic lights can prevent future car accidents.
- Neighbors Ask Whether Collision in Chatham Could Have Been Prevented
On the night of Tuesday, September 13th, an 11-year-old girl was struck by an SUV and pressed against a porch in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago. She was walking into a snack shop in the neighborhood, at 80th and Vincennes, when the accident occurred. She suffered head trauma and could not breathe without assistance. She ...
- State Governments Rolling Back Workers’ Compensation Protections
In Illinois and other states around the country, workers’ compensation is under attack. A recent investigation by NPR and ProPublica found that since 2003, more than 30 states have enacted legislation that either cuts benefits for injured workers, makes it harder to qualify for compensation, or creates obstacles to obtaining medical care. The federal Occupational ...
- Truck Accidents May Become More Likely If Congress Listens To Trucking Industry Lobbyists
In this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at the trucking industry’s involvement with Congress.
- Trucking Industry Lobbies Congress to Relax Safety Rules, Making Truck Accidents More Likely
Even after high-profile accidents put truck safety in the national spotlight, the trucking industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to increase limits on truck size, relax restrictions on driver rest time, and delay rule-making on testing drivers for sleep disorders. Lobbyists and their allies in Congress often use deceptive means to make dangerous ...