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+.
- Jury awards $8.45 million to boy with cerebral palsy in birth injury lawsuit
A jury in a birth injury case awarded $8.45 million to a boy who suffered severe injuries after an eight-minute delay in inserting a breathing tube. The jury found that medical personnel at Northeast Georgia Medical Center did not follow the proper standards of care when the boy was born in 2008. Jakob Medley, now [...]
- Outdated safety standards may actually prevent safety advancements
New advancements have been made in auto headlight technology, but some systems are unavailable in the United States because 45-year-old lighting safety standards do not allow for them. Nighttime driving can be dangerous simply because it is more difficult for drivers to see other cars, pedestrians and road obstacles. Headlights make night driving possible, but [...]
- NHTSA nominee wants to make better use of data
In a Senate committee hearing, Mark Rosekind, President Obama’s choice to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that the agency needs greater resources to keep up with consumer complaints and better tools to analyze data. Rosekind said that the number of complaints made to the agency has recently increased from 45,000 to [...]
- Study finds limitations to auto safety technology
With the recent wave of technological innovations in auto safety, and the promise of even greater developments to come, a vision is taking shape of a future where human error has been removed from the safety equation. However, that time has not yet arrived, and an over-reliance on these new tools in their present form [...]
- Pfizer asks judge to dismiss more than 500 birth injury lawsuits
Pfizer, a pharmaceutical giant, asked a Pennsylvania judge to dismiss more than 500 cases from all over the country alleging that the firm’s antidepressant drug Zoloft causes birth injuries. The 526 lawsuits, which have been combined into multidistrict litigation in Philadelphia, allege that Pfizer was negligent in failing to warn pregnant women that birth injuries [...]