On Friday, June 16, 2023, the Illinois House sent H.B. 2862 (the “Bill”) to be signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker. This Bill will substantially amend the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (the “Act”) to impose expansive new duties on Illinois staffing agencies (the “Agency”), as well as those employers that rely on temporary workers (the “Client”). The Governor is expected to sign this Bill, and the amendments will become law upon the Governor’s signature.
The Bill amends the original language in the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act enacted in 2000 that provides basic protections for low-wage temporary workers, such as entitling workers to detailed payment statements and notice of any deductions or other changes to their pay rate. The amendment to this original Act will expand on these protections.
Equal Pay for Equal Work – In this provision, if a temporary worker is assigned to work more than 90 calendar days at a Client, the worker must receive at least the same pay rate and equivalent benefits of the lowest paid directly hired employee of the Client who has the same level of seniority and who performs similar work. Similar work includes work that requires “substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility” and work that is “performed under similar working conditions.” If the Client is unable to identify a “comparative employee”, the temporary worker must receive at least the pay rate and equivalent benefits of the lowest paid Client employee with the closest level of seniority. As an alternative to providing equivalent benefits to the temporary worker, Agencies may instead pay the cash equivalent of the Client’s cost of benefits.
Upon request, the Client must provide Agencies all necessary information relating to job duties, pay, and benefits of directly hired employees in order for Agencies to comply with the Act.
The Right to Refuse Assignment Due to Labor Dispute – This provision allows temporary workers the right to refuse assignments from a Client who is experiencing a strike, lockout, or any other labor dispute. The Agency must provide this statement in writing to the temporary workers about their rights without prejudice to receiving another assignment. This notice must be given to the workers at the time of or before dispatching to the Client.
Safety Obligations – The Act establishes provisions for joint responsibilities related to safety, similar to OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative. Both parties are responsible for compliance with these requirements:
- Assessment Prior to Placement
- Agencies must assess safety conditions, worker tasks, and Client safety programs prior to placing workers. If hazards are identified, the Agency must make the Client aware of the unmitigated hazard, urge for correction, document the process, and ultimately remove workers if the hazard is not corrected.
- General awareness training for recognized industry hazards that workers may encounter at the Client’s worksite must be provided in the worker’s preferred language and at no expense to the worker. Documentation of the training content and date of training must be maintained by the Agency and provided to the worker.
- A general description of the training including topics covered must be submitted to the Client (electronically or on paper) at the start of the contract.
- Workers may refuse a new job task if the task has not been reviewed or if the worker has not had appropriate training on the new task.
- As part of their employment materials, workers must be provided with the hotline number for Illinois Department of Labor to report safety concerns.
- Workers must be advised about whom safety concerns should be reported to and be provided with contact information. This should ideally include contacts at the Client and the Agency.
Outside of these general requirements, the amendments include additional obligations on Clients who utilize temporary workers. Before a temporary worker begins their assignment, the Client must:
- Document and inform the Agency of anticipated hazards with the job.
- Review training provided by the Agency and determine if it addresses recognized industry hazards.
- Provide site-specific training tailored to the particular hazards in the workplace.
- Document the site-specific training, maintain those records, and provide confirmation to the Agency that training was completed within 3 business days of providing the training.
If Clients change job tasks for the worker, locations, or identify new hazards that may be encountered, the Client must:
- Inform both the worker and Agency of the change.
- Inform both the worker and Agency of the hazards not previously covered and provide updated training and personal protective equipment, if necessary.
Additionally, Clients must allow Agencies to visit any worksite where they are placing workers to observe and confirm the Client’s training and information related to job tasks, safety practices, and hazards.
Since the Bill is expected to pass, Agencies and Clients should review their current practices to ensure that those processes comply with the Amendments. For more information, contact a Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) advisor.