Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0291
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Full Text of SB0291  103rd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/2/2023, by Sen. Celina Villanueva


New Act
30 ILCS 105/5.990 new

    Creates the Secure Jobs Act. Establishes a framework for employee discipline and discharge. Prohibits the unjust discharge of an employee. Contains provisions concerning factors to be considered when determining whether an employee has been discharged for just cause and the conditions that allow for a discharge based on bona fide economic reasons. Requires employers to use progressive discipline measures. Limits the use of electronic monitoring. Provides for severance pay. Directs the Department of Labor to adopt rules and administer the Act. Provides statutory remedies for wrongfully discharged employees and authorizes the recovery of damages. Creates the Wrongful Discharge Enforcement Fund as a special fund in the State treasury. Effective January 1, 2024.

LRB103 27122 SPS 53490 b





SB0291LRB103 27122 SPS 53490 b

1    AN ACT concerning employment.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Secure
5Jobs Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. In this Act:
7    "Benefits" means the cash value of any employer-paid
8vacation leave, sick leave, medical insurance plan, disability
9insurance plan, life insurance plan, annuity, and pension
10benefit plan in effect on the date of discharge.
11    "Casual employee" refers to work in or around a private
12home, that is irregular, uncertain, or incidental in nature
13and duration.
14    "Constructive discharge" means the voluntary termination
15of employment by an employee because of a situation created by
16an act or omission of the employer that an objective,
17reasonable person would find so intolerable that voluntary
18termination is the only reasonable alternative.
19    "Day or temporary laborer", "day and temporary labor
20services agency", and "third party client" have the meaning
21ascribed to those terms under Section 5 of the Day and
22Temporary Labor Services Act.
23    "Department" means the Department of Labor.



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1    "Discharge" means any cessation of employment, including
2constructive discharge, indefinite suspension, layoff, or
3reduction in hours.
4    "Egregious misconduct" means deliberate or grossly
5negligent conduct that:
6        (1) endangers the safety or well-being of the
7    individual, co-workers, customers, or other persons,
8    including discrimination against, harassment of, or
9    causing physical or emotional harm to co-workers,
10    customers, or other persons;
11        (2) causes serious damage to the employer's or
12    customers' property or business interests, including, but
13    not limited to, theft; or
14        (3) involves grossly inappropriate behavior such as
15    working under the influence of intoxicants or controlled
16    substances.
17    "Electronic monitoring" means the collection of
18information concerning worker activities, communications,
19actions, biometric information, as that term is defined in
20Section 10 of the Biometric Information Privacy Act, or
21behaviors by electronic means including, but not limited to,
22video or audio surveillance, electronic work pace tracking,
23and other means.
24    "Employ" means to suffer or permit to work.
25    "Employee" has the meaning given that term in Section 2 of
26the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, and also



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1includes a "day or temporary laborer" but does not include a
2casual employee who performs work in or around a private home
3that is irregular in nature. A person may be an employee of 2
4or more employers at the same time. "Employee" does not
5include supervisors or persons who hold elective office.
6    "Employer" has the meaning given that term in Section 2 of
7the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, and also
8includes a "third party client" and a "day and temporary labor
9services agency". More than one entity may be the employer of
10an employee, including in circumstances where one entity
11controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with
12another employer, or where one entity exerts control over the
13operations of another employer. An employer-employee
14relationship is presumed to exist when an individual performs
15labor or services for an employer. The party asserting that an
16individual is not an employee must establish by a
17preponderance of the evidence that the individual is an
18independent contractor.
19    "Just cause" means:
20        (1) an employee's failure to satisfactorily perform
21    his or her job duties or to comply with employer policies;
22        (2) an employee's egregious misconduct; or
23        (3) bona fide economic reasons.
24    "Progressive discipline" means an employer's disciplinary
25system that provides a graduated range of reasonable responses
26to an employee's failure to satisfactorily perform his or her



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1job duties or comply with employer policies, with the
2disciplinary measures ranging from mild to severe, depending
3on the frequency and degree of the failure, and the employee
4being afforded a reasonable period of time to address
6    "Reduction in hours" means a reduction in an employee's
7hours of work totaling at least 15% of the employee's average
8weekly work hours.
9    "Relator" means a current or former employee, contractor,
10subcontractor, or employee of such a contractor or
11subcontractor of an alleged violator of this Act, regardless
12of whether that person has received full or partial relief,
13who seeks relief through a public enforcement action brought
14under this Act.
15    "Representative organization" means a nonprofit or labor
16organization selected by a relator to initiate a public
17enforcement action on the relator's behalf.
18    "Severance pay" has the meaning of that term as described
19in Section 50.
20    "Short-term position" means employment pursuant to a
21written contract that specifies that the position is to end
22after a specified period of time, not to exceed 6 months, where
23the employer can show that the work or need in question is
24expected to end, such as in the case of a seasonal job or a job
25to perform a specific project.



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1    Section 10. Prohibition against discharge without just
3    (a) An employer shall not discharge an employee without
4just cause. Just cause may not be based on off-duty conduct
5unless there is a demonstrable and material nexus between the
6conduct and the employee's job performance or the employer's
7legitimate business interests.
8    (b) The employer shall within 3 days provide a written
9explanation to any discharged employee of the specific reasons
10for the discharge. In determining whether an employer had just
11cause for discharge, a fact finder may not consider any
12reasons not included in such written explanation. Where an
13employer fails to provide a written explanation to a
14discharged employee, the discharge shall not be deemed to be
15based on just cause. All information and judgments that the
16employer considered in making the determination shall be made
17available to the employee or his or her representative.
18    (c) The employer shall bear the burden of proving just
19cause including, if applicable, that the employer followed
20progressive discipline, by a preponderance of non-hearsay
21evidence in any proceeding brought pursuant to this Act.
22    Section 15. Factors to be considered. In determining
23whether an employee has been discharged for just cause for
24failure to satisfactorily perform job duties or for failure to
25comply with employer policies, the fact finder shall consider,



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1in addition to any other relevant factors, whether:
2        (1) the employee knew or should have known of his or
3    her job duties or of the employer's policy;
4        (2) the employer provided relevant and adequate
5    training to the employee;
6        (3) the employer's policy was reasonable and applied
7    consistently;
8        (4) the employer undertook a thorough, fair and
9    objective investigation; and
10        (5) the employer used progressive discipline.
11    Section 20. Discharge for failure to satisfactorily
12perform job duties. A discharge for failure to satisfactorily
13perform job duties or comply with employer policies shall not
14be deemed to be based on just cause unless the employer has
15used progressive discipline. Provided, further, that the time
16period between a first warning or discipline and termination
17shall be not less than 15 days, and the employer may not rely
18on a warning or discipline issued more than one year in the
19past to justify a discharge.
20    Section 25. Progressive discipline. Under progressive
21discipline, an employer may discharge an employee immediately
22for egregious misconduct. A finding of misconduct for purposes
23of unemployment insurance eligibility shall not necessarily
24constitute serious misconduct for purposes of this Act. An



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1employee discharged for egregious misconduct shall not be
2entitled to severance pay.
3    Section 30. Discharge based on bona fide economic reasons.
4A discharge shall not be deemed to be based on bona fide
5economic reasons unless the following conditions are met:
6        (1) the discharge results from a reduction in
7    production, sales, services, profit, or funding of the
8    employer, or technological or organizational changes in
9    the employer's operations that necessitate full or partial
10    reduction of the employer's operations;
11        (2) the employees or groups of employees to be
12    discharged are identified using broadly applicable
13    criteria that do not appear to target individuals; and
14        (3) the bona fide economic reasons justifying the
15    discharge were specified in writing to the employee at the
16    time of the discharge and are supported by the employer's
17    records.
18    A discharge shall be presumed not to be based on bona fide
19economic reasons where the employer hired or hires another
20employee to perform substantially the same work within 90 days
21before or after the discharge. Elimination of staff redundancy
22created by a merger or acquisition shall not be deemed a bona
23fide economic reason for discharge of employees.
24    Section 35. Employee actions that do not constitute just



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1cause for termination. In no event shall any of the following
2actions by an employee constitute just cause for termination:
3        (1) an employee's communication about workplace
4    practices or policies, including, but not limited to,
5    health or safety practices or hazards related to COVID-19,
6    to any person, including to an employer, an employer's
7    agent, other employees, a government agency, or the
8    public, including through print, online, social media, or
9    any other media; or
10        (2) an employee's refusal to work under conditions
11    that the employee reasonably believes would expose him or
12    her, other employees, or the public to an unreasonable
13    health or safety risk, including, but not limited to, risk
14    of illness or exposure to COVID-19.
15    An employer shall not retaliate against any employee or
16other person for such conduct. Notwithstanding any other
17provision of law, such conduct shall constitute protected
18conduct and may not be contractually prohibited, or subject to
19civil or criminal sanction or liability.
20    Section 40. Employer assessments. An employer must
21conduct its own assessment of an employee, and may not rely on
22data gathered through electronic monitoring in discharging or
23disciplining an employee. Such employment decisions must be
24made based on human-provided information sources such as
25supervisors' assessments and documentation, or consulting



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1co-workers. An employer must disclose in advance to employees
2any electronic monitoring or data collection at a workplace,
3disclose the purposes for which the data will be used, and
4provide employees meaningful opportunities to challenge any
5electronic monitoring or data systems. However, data gathered
6through electronic monitoring may be used in the following
7circumstances: for non-employment-related purposes; for
8discharging or disciplining an employee in cases of egregious
9misconduct or involving threats to the health or safety of
10other persons; or where required by State or federal law.
11Provided further, information on employee tardiness or
12absenteeism from electronic time-keeping systems that are used
13to measure employee work shifts for payroll purposes may be
14considered for purposes of employee discharge and discipline.
15    Section 45. Discharge; short-term position. Discharge at
16the end of a short-term position shall not require a showing of
17just cause and shall not entitle an employee to severance pay.
18A position shall not be deemed to be a short-term position
19where the employer hires another employee, including another
20employee who is a day or temporary laborer, to perform
21substantially the same work within 90 days before or after the
22discharge. However, discharge prior to the end of the term of a
23short-term position shall require a showing of just cause and
24shall entitle the employee to severance pay.



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1    Section 50. Severance pay. An employee shall accrue an
2entitlement to one hour of severance pay for every 12.5 hours
3worked during his or her first 2,080 hours of employment, and
4for every 50 hours worked thereafter. Within 14 days after
5discharge, the employer shall pay the employee his or her
6accrued severance pay, calculated based on the number of hours
7accrued multiplied by the employee's rate of pay upon
8discharge. However, an employee who is discharged at the end
9of a short-term position shall not be entitled to severance
10pay. Severance pay shall be exclusive of final compensation
11due an employee upon separation, as provided for under Section
122 of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. For
13purposes of determining an employee's hours of employment,
14tenure, or seniority, multiple periods worked for the
15employer, including through a day and temporary services
16agency, and any time worked for a predecessor employer shall
17be aggregated.
18    Section 55. Employment through day and temporary labor
19services agencies.
20    (a) Where an employee is a day or temporary laborer who has
21worked 100 hours or more for a single third party client, the
22third party client shall be deemed his or her employer, shall
23become subject to the protections of this Act as regards the
24employee, and may not discharge the employee without just
25cause. However, if the employee's employment with the third



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1party client qualifies as a short-term position, then a
2showing of just cause for discharge at the end of the
3position's defined term shall not be required, nor shall
4payment of severance pay at the end of the position's defined
5term be required. In such a case the third party client must
6show that all of the criteria and conditions for a short-term
7position in Section 45 and in the definition of short-term
8position are satisfied in order for the employment of the day
9or temporary laborer to qualify as a short-term position.
10    (b) Where an employee is a day or temporary laborer who has
11not worked 100 hours or more for a single third party client
12but has worked 100 hours or more for a temporary labor services
13agency, aggregating all hours worked for multiple third party
14clients, the employee shall become subject to more limited
15protection under the Act. Such an employee shall be given
16priority by the temporary labor services agency for future
17work assignments over employees who have not worked 100 hours
18or more for the agency. When such an employee is discharged by
19the day and temporary labor services agency, the employee
20shall be entitled to payment of severance pay, as determined
21under Section 50. Such an employee shall be deemed discharged
22if he or she receives no work assignment offers from the
23temporary labor services agency for a period of 21 days or
24more. However, if such an employee's employment with the
25temporary labor services agency ends in order for the employee
26to commence direct employment with a third party client, then



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1no payment of severance pay shall be required.
2    (c) Employers that are third party clients and employers
3that are day and temporary labor services agencies shall be
4jointly and severally responsible with one another for
5compliance with the Act's requirements.
6    Section 60. Collective bargaining agreement exemption. The
7requirements of this Act shall not apply to employees who are
8covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement.
9    Section 65. Retaliation prohibited. No employer or any
10other person shall threaten, intimidate, discipline,
11discharge, demote, suspend, or harass an employee, reduce the
12hours or pay of an employee, inform another employer that an
13employee has alleged that the employer violated this Act or
14any other law, discriminate against an employee, or take any
15other adverse action that penalizes an employee for, or is
16reasonably likely to deter an employee from, exercising or
17attempting to exercise any right protected under this Act or
18any other law, including informing other employees or persons
19of their rights under this Act or any other law, assisting in
20any way with any complaint or investigation involving this
21Act, including another workers' case, or sharing information
22about workplace issues with other employees or the public,
23including on social media. Threats or any other adverse action
24related to perceived immigration status or work authorization



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1shall constitute threats or adverse actions as those terms are
2used in this Section. An employee need not explicitly refer to
3this Act or any other law or the rights enumerated herein to be
4protected from retaliation. The protections afforded by this
5Section shall apply to any person who mistakenly but in good
6faith alleges violations of this Act.
7    Section 70. Protection of former employees from
8blacklisting. An employer shall not prevent or attempt to
9prevent, by word or writing of any kind, a former employee from
10obtaining employment with any other employer. An employer is
11not prohibited from providing by word or writing to any other
12employer to whom the discharged employee has applied for
13employment a truthful statement of the reason for discharge.
14    Section 75. Notice and posting of rights.
15    (a) The Department shall publish and make available
16notices informing employees of their rights protected under
17this Act. Employers shall post such notices in a conspicuous
18location in the workplace or at any job site, and shall give a
19notice to each employee at the time of hiring and on an annual
20basis. The notices shall be made available in a downloadable
21format on the Department's website in English, Spanish,
22Polish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
23    (b) Every employer shall conspicuously post at any
24workplace or job site where any employee works the notices



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1described in subsection (a) that apply to the particular
2workplace or job site. The notices shall be in English and any
3language spoken as a primary language by at least 5% of the
4employees at that location if the Department has made the
5notice available in that language.
6    Section 80. Recordkeeping.
7    (a) Employers shall retain records documenting their
8compliance with the applicable requirements of this Act. In
9addition, day and temporary labor services agencies shall
10maintain records of each individual day or temporary laborer's
11start date with such day and temporary labor services agency
12and the dates on which that laborer was placed with a third
13party client. Employers shall retain such records for a period
14of 3 years and shall allow the Department access to such
15records and other information, in accordance with applicable
16law and with appropriate notice, in furtherance of an
17investigation conducted in accordance with this Act.
18    (b) In addition, employers shall report annually to the
19Department, and any person who requests a copy of:
20        (1) the employer's total employment each year broken
21    down by full-time employment (defined as at least 30 hours
22    per week), part-time employment (defined as less than 30
23    hours per week), short-term employment, and employment
24    through a temp or staffing agency; and
25        (2) the employer's total number of separations each



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1    year broken down by whether the separation was a discharge
2    for cause, a discharge for bona fide economic reasons, a
3    separation as a result of the end of a short-term
4    position, an employee resignation, or an employee
5    retirement.
6    Within 14 days after a request for such records, employers
7shall make requested records available for review and copying.
8    (c) An employer's failure to maintain, retain, or produce
9a record or other information required to be maintained by
10this Section relevant to a material fact alleged by an
11employee in a complaint brought pursuant to this Section or
12requested by the Department pursuant to an investigation,
13creates a rebuttable presumption that such fact is true.
14    Section 85. Administrative implementation and enforcement.
15    (a) The Department shall administer and enforce the
16provisions of this Act and shall, within 120 days after its
17effective date, adopt rules necessary to administer and
18enforce the provisions of this Act. The rules shall include
19the procedures for investigations and hearings under this Act.
20The adoption, amendment, or rescission of rules shall be in
21conformity with the requirements of the Illinois
22Administrative Procedure Act.
23    (b) An aggrieved employee or his or her duly authorized
24representative may file a complaint with the Department
25regarding violations by an employer of this Act or of any



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1implementing rules. Upon receiving a complaint or on its own
2initiative, the Department shall investigate potential
3violations, make a determination whether a violation has
4occurred, and take appropriate action to enforce the
5provisions of this Act and any implementing rules.
6    (c) If an employer is found by the Department to have
7violated this Act or any rules adopted under this Act, the
8Department shall order the following, in addition to any other
9remedy provided by law:
10        (1) In the case of unlawful discharge, retaliation,
11    blacklisting, or unlawful electronic monitoring, actual
12    and liquidated damages payable to each aggrieved worker
13    equal to, at the aggrieved party's election, $10,000 or 3
14    times the actual damages including, but not limited to,
15    unpaid wages, benefits, other remuneration owed, and
16    compensation for emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience,
17    and mental anguish, unless an adjudicator finds that
18    mitigating circumstances are present, in which case the
19    adjudicator may order that the preceding liquidated
20    damages amount be reduced as circumstances make
21    appropriate, as well as reinstatement, restoration of
22    hours, other injunctive relief (including to rectify
23    conditions that led to constructive discharge), punitive
24    damages, and such other remedies as may be appropriate.
25        (2) In the case of discharge where severance pay was
26    not provided, payment of severance pay together with an



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1    additional 2 times that amount as liquidated damages, and
2    such other remedies as may be appropriate including
3    punitive damages.
4        (3) In the case of failure to provide a timely written
5    explanation for a discharge, injunctive relief and
6    liquidated damages in an amount equal to $5,000, unless an
7    adjudicator finds that mitigating circumstances are
8    present, in which case the adjudicator may order that the
9    preceding liquidated damage amount be reduced as
10    circumstances make appropriate, and such other remedies as
11    may be appropriate, including punitive damages.
12        (4) Payment of a further sum to the Department as a
13    civil penalty in an amount of $10,000 for unlawful
14    discharge, retaliation, or blacklisting in violation of
15    this Act, or unlawful electronic monitoring, in an amount
16    of $5,000 for or failure to provide a timely written
17    explanation for a discharge, or in an amount of $1,000 for
18    other violations of this Act, including the Act's
19    recordkeeping requirements or failure to produce records
20    requested in an investigation. However, if an adjudicator
21    finds that mitigating circumstances are present, the
22    adjudicator may order that the preceding civil penalty
23    amounts be reduced as circumstances make appropriate. The
24    civil penalties imposed in accordance with this Section
25    shall be imposed on a per employee and per instance basis
26    for each violation.



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1        (5) Payment of the complainant's reasonable attorneys'
2    fees, expert fees, and other costs. For the purposes of
3    this provision, a complainant shall be deemed to have
4    prevailed and entitled to an award of fees and costs if
5    commencement of a complaint has acted as a catalyst to
6    effect policy change on the part of the respondent,
7    regardless of whether that change has been implemented
8    voluntarily, as a result of a settlement, or as a result of
9    a judgment in such party's favor.
10        (6) In assessing an appropriate remedy, due
11    consideration shall be given to the gravity of the
12    violation, the history of previous violations, and the
13    good faith of the employer.
14        (7) All amounts specified in this Act shall be updated
15    annually to keep pace with the rising cost of living by
16    increasing each amount in proportion to the increase over
17    the most recent 12-month period for which data are
18    available in the value of the Consumer Price Index for All
19    Urban Consumers (CPI-U), as calculated by the Bureau of
20    Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor,
21    and rounding the new amounts to the nearest multiple of
22    $5. Such increased amounts shall be announced by October 1
23    of each year, and shall take effect on January 1.
24        (8) Either party may bring an administrative appeal to
25    enforce, vacate, or modify the order, determination, or
26    other disposition.



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1        (9) No procedure or remedy set forth in this Section
2    is exclusive or a prerequisite for asserting a claim for
3    relief to enforce any rights under this Act in a court of
4    law.
5        (10) Any employer who has been ordered by the
6    Department or ordered by a court to pay unpaid backpay,
7    front pay and benefits, severance pay, liquidated or
8    punitive damages, or civil penalties, and who fails to
9    seek timely review of such a demand or order as provided
10    for under this Act and who fails to comply within 15
11    calendar days after such demand or within 35 days after an
12    administrative or court order is entered shall also be
13    liable to pay a penalty to the Department of 20% of the
14    amount found owing and a penalty to the employee of 1% per
15    calendar day of the amount found owing for each day of
16    delay in paying such wages to the employee. All moneys
17    recovered as fees and civil penalties under this Act,
18    except those owing to the affected employee, shall be
19    deposited into the Wrongful Discharge Enforcement Fund, a
20    special fund which is hereby created in the State
21    treasury. Moneys in the Fund may be used only for
22    enforcement of this Act.
23    Section 90. Civil action. Except as otherwise provided by
24law, any person claiming to be aggrieved by an employer's
25violation of this Act has a cause of action in any court and,



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1upon prevailing, shall be awarded the relief specified in
2Section 85 and, if the court finds in favor of the plaintiff,
3it shall award such prevailing party, in addition to other
4relief, his or her reasonable attorneys' fees, expert fees,
5and other costs. As used in this Section, "prevailing" party
6includes a party whose commencement of litigation has acted as
7a catalyst to effect policy change on the part of the
8defendant, regardless of whether that change has been
9implemented voluntarily, as a result of a settlement, or as a
10result of a judgment in such party's favor. Penalties and fees
11under this Act may be assessed by the Department and recovered
12in a civil action brought by the Department in any court or in
13any administrative adjudicative proceeding under this Act. In
14any such civil action or administrative adjudicative
15proceeding under this Act, the Department shall be represented
16by the Attorney General.
17    Section 95. Public enforcement action. A relator or
18representative organization may initiate a public enforcement
19action in any court to pursue civil penalties, injunctive
20relief, and declaratory relief, as specified in Section 85, on
21behalf of the Department, for a violation of the provisions of
22this Act affecting the relator and other current or former
23employees, according to the following procedures:
24        (a) The relator or representative organization shall
25    give written notice to the Department of the specific



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1    provisions of this Act alleged to have been violated,
2    including the facts and theories to support the alleged
3    violation. The notice shall be given in such a manner as
4    the Department may prescribe by rule.
5        (b) If the Department intends to investigate the
6    alleged violation, it shall notify the relator or
7    representative organization of its decision within 65
8    calendar days after the postmark date of the notice.
9    Within 60 calendar days after that decision, the
10    Department may investigate the alleged violation and take
11    any enforcement action authorized by law. If the
12    Department determines that additional time is necessary to
13    complete the investigation, it may extend the time by not
14    more than 60 additional calendar days and shall notify the
15    relator or representative organization of the extension.
16        (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
17    public enforcement action brought under this Act must be
18    commenced within the limitations period specified in
19    Section 100. The statute of limitations for bringing a
20    public enforcement action under this Act shall be tolled
21    from the date a relator or representative organization
22    files a notice under this Section with the Department, or
23    the Department commences an investigation, whichever is
24    earlier.
25        (d) The relator or representative organization may
26    commence a civil action under this Act if the Department



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1    determines that no enforcement action will be taken, or if
2    no enforcement action is taken by the Department within
3    the time limits prescribed.
4        (e) The Department may intervene in an action brought
5    under this Act and proceed with any and all claims in the
6    action as of right within 30 days after the filing of the
7    action, or for good cause, as determined by the court, at
8    any time after the 30-day period after the filing of the
9    action.
10        (f) Civil penalties recovered in a public enforcement
11    action brought under this Act shall be distributed as
12    follows:
13            (1) If the Department does not intervene in the
14        action, 60% to the Department, and 40% to the relator
15        or representative organization, to be distributed to
16        the employees affected by the violation, including a
17        service award that reflects the burdens and risks
18        assumed by the employee or representative organization
19        in prosecuting the action.
20            (2) If the Department does intervene in the
21        action, 70% to the Department, and 30% to the relator
22        or representative organization, the latter of which
23        shall be distributed to the employees affected by the
24        violation, including a service award that reflects the
25        burdens and risks assumed by the employee or
26        representative organization in prosecuting the action.



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1            (3) The share of penalties recovered for the
2        Department under this Act shall be used solely to
3        support the Department's education and enforcement
4        activities relating to this Act, with approximately
5        25% of these penalties reserved for grants to
6        community organizations for outreach and education
7        about employee rights under this Act.
8        (g) In any public enforcement action commenced under
9    this Act, the court shall allow a prevailing relator or
10    representative organization to recover all reasonable
11    attorneys' fees, expert fees, and other costs. For the
12    purposes of this provision, a "prevailing" relator or
13    representative organization includes a relator or
14    representative organization whose commencement of
15    litigation has acted as a catalyst to effect policy change
16    on the part of the defendant, regardless of whether that
17    change has been implemented voluntarily, as a result of a
18    settlement, or as a result of a judgment in such relator or
19    representative organization's favor.
20        (h) No public enforcement action brought under this
21    Act shall be required to meet class action certification
22    requirements under Part 8 of Article II of the Code of
23    Civil Procedure or Rule 23(a) of the Federal Rules of
24    Civil Procedure.
25        (i) The relator or representative organization may not
26    recover compensatory damages or back pay, or seek



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1    reinstatement, in a public enforcement action. But the
2    filing of a public enforcement action does not preclude an
3    employee from pursuing these remedies in another forum.
4        (j) The right to bring a public enforcement action
5    under this Act shall not be impaired by any private
6    contract.
7    Section 100. Limitation of actions. Notwithstanding any
8other provision of law, an action under this Act must be filed
9within 3 years after the complainant knew or should have known
10of the alleged violation. However, this statute of limitations
11period shall be tolled for the duration of any state of
12emergency declared by the State or by any city or county in
13which the action is commenced.
14    Section 105. Non-preemption. This Act does not preempt,
15limit, or otherwise affect the authority of any other unit of
16government to adopt laws, rules, requirements, policies, or
17standards providing additional employment or workplace
19    Section 110. Violations. An employer that violates this
20Act is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
21    Section 115. Severability. The provisions of this Act are
22severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.



SB0291- 25 -LRB103 27122 SPS 53490 b

1    Section 120. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
2Section 5.990 as follows:
3    (30 ILCS 105/5.990 new)
4    Sec. 5.990. The Wrongful Discharge Enforcement Fund.
5    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
61, 2024.