Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB1122
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Full Text of HB1122  103rd General Assembly


Rep. Will Guzzardi

Filed: 3/3/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 1122 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Freelance Worker Protection Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
7    "Department" means the Department of Labor.
8    "Director" means the Director of Labor or the Director's
10    "Freelance worker" means a natural person who is hired or
11retained as an independent contractor by a contracting entity
12to provide products or services in Illinois or for a
13contracting entity located in Illinois in exchange for an
14amount equal to or greater than $500, either in a single
15contract or when aggregated with all contracts for products or
16services between the same contracting entity and the freelance



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1worker during the immediately preceding 120 days. "Freelance
2worker" does not include an individual performing services as
3an employee under Section 10 of the Employee Classification
4Act or an employee as defined in Section 2 of the Illinois Wage
5Payment and Collection Act.
6    "Contracting entity" means any person who retains a
7freelance worker to provide any service, other than:
8        (1) the United States government;
9        (2) the State of Illinois;
10        (3) a unit of local government, including school
11    districts; or
12        (4) any foreign government.
13    "Natural person" means an individual human being.
14    "Person" means any natural person, individual,
15corporation, business enterprise or other legal entity, either
16public or private, and any legal successor, representative,
17agent or agency of that individual, corporation, business
18enterprise, or legal entity.
19    Section 10. Payment of compensation for freelance workers.
20    (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, a freelance
21worker shall be paid the contracted compensation amount no
22later than 30 days after the freelance worker provides the
23product or completes the services under the contract.
24    (b) Once a freelance worker has commenced preparation of
25the product or performance of the services under the contract,



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1the contracting entity shall not require as a condition of
2timely payment that the freelance worker accept less
3compensation than the amount of the contracted compensation.
4    Section 15. Contract for products and services of
5freelance workers.
6    (a) Whenever a contracting entity retains a freelance
7worker, the contract for such products or services shall be
8reduced to writing. The contracting entity shall furnish a
9copy of the written contract, either physically or
10electronically, to the freelance worker and each party to the
11written contract shall retain a copy thereof for a period of 2
12years after the products or services are provided.
13    (b) The written contract for the product and service of a
14freelance worker shall include, at a minimum, the following
16        (1) the name and contact information of both the
17    contracting entity and the freelance worker, including the
18    mailing address of the contracting entity;
19        (2) an itemization of all products and services to be
20    provided by the freelance worker, the value of the
21    products and services to be provided under the terms of
22    the contract, and the rate and method of compensation;
23        (3) the date on which the contracting entity must pay
24    the contracted compensation or the mechanism by which such
25    date will be determined, which shall be no later than 30



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1    days after the products or services are provided; and
2        (4) the date by which a freelance worker must submit a
3    list of products or services rendered under such contract
4    to the contracting entity, if such a list is required in
5    order to meet any internal processing deadlines of the
6    contracting entity for the purposes of compensation being
7    timely rendered by the agreed-upon date as stipulated in
8    paragraph (3).
9    (c) The contracting entity shall retain the contract for
10the service of a freelance worker for no less than 2 years and
11shall make such contract available to the Department upon
13    (d) The Department shall make available model contracts on
14its website for use by the general public at no cost. Such
15model contracts shall be made available in English and in the 8
16languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient
17individuals in the State.
18    Section 20. Nondiscrimination. No contracting entity shall
19threaten, intimidate, discipline, harass, deny a freelance
20opportunity to, or take any other action that penalizes a
21freelance worker for, or is reasonably likely to deter a
22freelance worker from, exercising or attempting to exercise
23any right guaranteed by this Act, or from obtaining any future
24work opportunity because the freelance worker has done so.



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1    Section 25. Complaint procedure.
2    (a) A freelance worker may file a complaint with the
3Department alleging a violation of the Act by submitting a
4completed form, provided by the Department, and by submitting
5copies of all supporting documentation. The Department is
6authorized to request or require any information the Director
7deems relevant to the complaint or to its reporting
8requirements under Section 50, including, but not limited to:
9        (1) the general sector or occupation of the freelance
10    worker submitting a claim under this Act;
11        (2) the county where the work by the freelance work
12    was performed, if in Illinois; and
13        (3) at the discretion of the freelance worker, the
14    demographic data of the freelance worker submitting a
15    claim under this Act.
16    (b) Complaints alleging violation of Section 10, 15, or 20
17shall be filed within 2 years after the date the final
18compensation was due. Complaints shall be reviewed by the
19Department to determine whether there is cause for the
20Department to initiate the process of facilitating the
21exchange of information between the parties. The Department is
22not required to initiate an information facilitation process
23if either party to the contract has initiated a civil action in
24a court of competent jurisdiction alleging a violation of this
25chapter or a breach of contract arising out of the contract
26that is the subject of the complaint filed under this Act,



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1unless such civil action has been dismissed without prejudice
2to future claims; or either party to the contract has filed a
3claim or complaint before any administrative agency under any
4local, State, or federal law alleging a breach of contract
5that is the subject of the complaint filed under this Act,
6unless the administrative claim or complaint has been
7withdrawn or dismissed without prejudice to future claims.
8Failure of a contracting entity to keep adequate records or
9provide written contract as required by this Act shall not
10operate as a bar to a freelance worker filing a complaint.
11    (c) Each freelance worker who files a completed complaint
12alleging a violation of this Act or a rule adopted thereunder
13shall be provided with a written description of the
14anticipated processing of the complaint, including
15notification to the contracting entity and the contracting
16entity's opportunity to respond.
17    (d) The Department shall, within 20 days of receiving a
18complaint alleging a violation of this Act, initiate the
19information facilitation process by sending the contracting
20entity named in the complaint a written notice of the
21complaint, or by notifying the freelance worker that the
22Department lacks jurisdiction to initiate such process. When
23the Department initiates this process, the notice of complaint
24shall: (i) inform the contracting entity that a complaint has
25been filed alleging a violation of this Act; (ii) detail the
26civil remedies available to a freelance worker for violations



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1of this Act by a contracting entity; (iii) include a copy of
2the complaint; and (iv) state that failure to respond to the
3complaint by the deadline established in paragraph (1) of
4subsection (e) creates a rebuttable presumption in any civil
5action commenced in accordance with this Act that the
6contracting entity committed the violations alleged in the
7complaint. The Department shall send such notice by certified
9    (e) Response.
10        (1) Within 20 days of receiving the notice of
11    complaint, the contracting entity identified in the
12    complaint shall send the Director one of the following:
13            (A) For a complaint under Section 10, a written
14        statement that the freelance worker has been paid in
15        full and proof of such payment.
16            (B) For a complaint under Section 10, a written
17        statement that the freelance worker has not been paid
18        in full and the reasons for the failure to provide such
19        payment.
20            (C) For a complaint under Section 15 or 20, a
21        defense against the alleged violation.
22        (2) If the contracting entity identified in the
23    complaint does not respond to the notice within 20 days,
24    such failure to respond creates a rebuttable presumption
25    in any civil action commenced in accordance with this Act
26    that the contracting entity committed the violations



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1    alleged in the complaint. Within 20 days of receiving a
2    written response, the Director shall send the freelance
3    worker a copy of:
4            (A) the contracting entity's response;
5            (B) any enclosures submitted with the response;
6            (C) materials informing the freelance worker about
7        the freelance worker's right to bring an action in a
8        court of competent jurisdiction; and
9            (D) any other information about the status of the
10        complaint.
11        (3) If the director receives no response to the notice
12    of complaint within the time provided by subsection (a),
13    the Director shall mail a notice of non-response to both
14    the freelance worker and the contracting entity by regular
15    mail and shall include with such notice proof that the
16    Director previously mailed the notice of complaint to the
17    contracting entity by certified mail. Upon satisfying the
18    requirements of this paragraph, the Director may close the
19    case.
20    (f) Attorney General powers.
21        (1) Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause
22    to believe that any person or entity is engaged in a
23    pattern and practice prohibited by this Act, the Attorney
24    General may initiate or intervene in a civil action in the
25    name of the People of the State of Illinois in any
26    appropriate court to obtain appropriate relief.



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1        (2) Before initiating an action, the Attorney General
2    may conduct an investigation and may:
3            (A) require an individual or entity to file a
4        statement or report in writing under oath or
5        otherwise, as to all information the Attorney General
6        may consider necessary;
7            (B) examine under oath any person alleged to have
8        participated in or with knowledge of the alleged
9        violation; or
10            (C) issue subpoenas or conduct hearings in aid of
11        any investigation.
12        (3) Service by the Attorney General of any notice
13    requiring a person or entity to file a statement or
14    report, or of a subpoena upon any person or entity, shall
15    be made:
16            (A) personally by delivery of a duly executed copy
17        thereof to the person to be served or, if a person is
18        not a natural person, in the manner provided in the
19        Code of Civil Procedure when a complaint is filed; or
20            (B) by mailing by certified mail a duly executed
21        copy thereof to the person to be served at the person's
22        last known abode or principal place of business within
23        this State or, if a person is not a natural person, in
24        the manner provided in the Code of Civil Procedure
25        when a complaint is filed.
26        The Attorney General may compel compliance with



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1    investigative demands under this Section through an order
2    by any court of competent jurisdiction.
3        (4)(A) In an action brought under this Act, the
4    Attorney General may obtain, as a remedy, monetary damages
5    to the State, restitution, and equitable relief, including
6    any permanent or preliminary injunction, temporary
7    restraining order, or other order, including an order
8    enjoining the defendant from engaging in a violation, or
9    order any action as may be appropriate. In addition, the
10    Attorney General may request and the court may impose a
11    civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each violation or
12    $10,000 for each repeat violation within a 5-year period.
13    For purposes of this Section, each violation of this Act
14    for each person who was subject to an agreement in
15    violation of this Act shall constitute a separate and
16    distinct violation.
17        (B) A civil penalty imposed under this subsection
18    shall be deposited into the Attorney General Court Ordered
19    and Voluntary Compliance Payment Projects Fund. Moneys in
20    the Fund shall be used, subject to appropriation, for the
21    performance of any function pertaining to the exercise of
22    the duties of the Attorney General, including, but not
23    limited to, enforcement of any law of this State and
24    conducting public education programs; however, any moneys
25    in the Fund that are required by the court or by an
26    agreement to be used for a particular purpose shall be



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1    used for that purpose.
2    (g) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent any
3freelance worker from making complaint or prosecuting his or
4her own claim for compensation. Any freelance worker aggrieved
5by a violation of this Act or any rule adopted under this Act
6may file suit in circuit court of Illinois, in the county where
7the alleged violation occurred or where any freelance worker
8who is party to the action resides, without regard to
9exhaustion of any alternative administrative remedies provided
10in this Act. Actions may be brought by one or more freelance
11workers for and on behalf of themselves and other freelance
12workers similarly situated.
13    (h) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the
14authority of the State's Attorney of any county to prosecute
15actions for violation of this Act or to enforce the provisions
16thereof independently and without specific direction of the
18    Section 30. Civil enforcement.
19    (a) Any freelance worker not timely paid final
20compensation by a contracting entity as required by Section 10
21shall be entitled to recover through civil action double the
22amount of any such underpayments, injunctive relief, and other
23such remedies as may be appropriate. In a civil action for
24violation of Section 10, such freelance worker shall also be
25entitled to recover costs and all reasonable attorney's fees.



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1A civil complaint alleging violation of Section 10 shall be
2filed within 2 years after the date the final compensation was
4    (b) Any freelance worker who was retained in violation of
5Section 15 despite the freelance worker's request for a
6written contract prior to commencing the contracted work as
7required by Section 15 shall be entitled to recover through a
8civil action statutory damages of $500. However, a freelance
9worker who prevails on a claim alleging violation of Section
1015 and on one or more claims under other Sections shall be
11awarded statutory damages equal to the value of the underlying
12contract or $500, whichever is greater, in addition to the
13other remedies provided. Civil complaints alleging violation
14of Section 15 shall be filed within 2 years after the date the
15final compensation was due.
16    (c) Any freelance worker who is threatened, intimidated,
17disciplined, harassed, denied a freelance opportunity, or
18penalized by a contracting entity in violation of Section 20
19shall be entitled to recover through a civil action statutory
20damages equal to the value of the underlying contract for each
21violation of Section 20. In a civil action for violation of
22Section 20, such freelance worker shall also recover costs and
23all reasonable attorney's fees.
24    Section 35. Public policy and intent.
25    (a) The provisions of this Act shall apply only to



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1contracts taking effect after the effective date of this Act.
2    (b) Except as otherwise provided by law, any provision of
3a contract purporting to waive rights under this Act is void as
4against public policy.
5    (c) The provisions of this Act are intended to supplement,
6and do not diminish or replace, any other basis of liability,
7remedy, or requirement established by statute or common law.
8    (d) Failure to comply with this Section does not render
9any contract between a contracting entity and a freelance
10worker void in total, voidable, or otherwise impair any
11obligation, claim, or right related to the contract, nor does
12it constitute a defense to any action or proceeding to
13enforce, or for breach of, such contract.
14    (e) No provision of this Act relating to freelance workers
15shall be construed as providing a determination about the
16legal classification of any such worker as an employee or
17independent contractor.
18    Section 40. Public awareness. Subject to appropriation,
19the Department may conduct a public awareness campaign
20regarding this Act that, at a minimum, includes making
21information available on its website, otherwise informing
22contracting entities of the provisions of this Act, and
23establishing a means for assistance by a natural person
24through phone or email.



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1    Section 45. Reports. One year after the effective date of
2this Act, and by November 1 every 5 years thereafter, the
3Department shall submit to the General Assembly and publish on
4its website a report regarding freelance contracting and
5payment practices. The report shall include, but is not
6limited to:
7        (1) the number of complaints received by the
8    Department under this Act;
9        (2) the value of the contracts disaggregated into
10    ranges of $500 and by the Section of this Act the
11    associated contracting entity is alleged to have violated;
12        (3) the numbers of responses and non-responses
13    received from contracting entities by the Department
14    disaggregated by contract value into ranges of $500 and by
15    the Section of this Act the associated contracting entity
16    is alleged to have violated;
17        (4) the general sector or occupation of the freelance
18    workers submitting claims in accordance with this Act;
19        (5) the counties where violations of this Act are
20    alleged to have occurred, if in Illinois, including the
21    number of violations from each county, identified by the
22    county where the work was performed;
23        (6) to the extent available, demographic data of the
24    freelance workers who have alleged violations of this Act;
25    and
26        (7) legislative recommendations as the Director deems



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1    appropriate, which may include consideration of whether
2    certain occupations should be exempted from the scope of
3    the definition of freelance worker.
4    Section 50. Coordination. The Department is authorized to
5coordinate efforts under this Act with other agencies and
6combine complaints under this Act with claims under other
8    Section 55. Rulemaking. The Director, or the Director's
9authorized representatives, shall administer the provisions of
10this Act. In order to accomplish the objectives of this Act and
11to carry out the duties prescribed by this Act, the Director,
12or the Director's authorized representative, may adopt rules
13necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this
15    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,