» 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+.

  • Police officer not charged in wrongful death case of Naperville woman
    The daughter of a 73-year-old woman who died in a car accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Naperville, Illinois. She is seeking over $50,000 in damages. Tracy Heusinkveld, a veteran officer of the Naperville Police Department, was also named a defendant in the lawsuit. However, authorities said she will not face ...
  • Family wins $15 million settlement in birth injury case
    A Chicago Heights hospital agreed to pay $15 million to settle a 2013 medical malpractice lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the family of a 6-year-old girl who sustained severe brain damage during her birth. The family of Nyelle Brown sued Franciscan Health for the birth injury she allegedly suffered during her January 2011 delivery. ...
  • Police upgrade charges after teen dies in hit-and-run bicycle accident
    When distracted or irresponsible motorists collide with bicyclists, they can cause serious injuries or even death. In a recent case, an alleged hit-and-run driver is facing upgraded criminal charges after the death of an Illinois teenager who was riding his bicycle. Doctors at OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital in Peoria removed Dale Nelson, 16, from life ...
  • Briskman Briskman & Greenberg File A Civil Lawsuit
    On this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at how two men filed a lawsuit against a bar for allegedly over-serving two other customers that led to an altercation that resulted in injuries and damaged property.
  • Iraq veteran’s mother sues Chicago VA hospital for medical malpractice
    The mother of an Iraq war veteran filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against a Chicago Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. She alleged that the negligence of its medical staff led to her son’s suicide in March 2015. Daniel Nerstrom had sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning home to ...

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



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

* indicates required