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


Rep. Will Guzzardi

Filed: 3/17/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 1122, AS AMENDED,
3by replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
6Freelance Worker Protection Act.
7    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
8    "Construction" has the meaning set forth in Section 5 of
9the Employee Classification Act.
10    "Department" means the Department of Labor.
11    "Director" means the Director of Labor or the Director's
13    "Freelance worker" means a natural person who is hired or
14retained as an independent contractor by a contracting entity
15to provide products or services in Illinois or for a
16contracting entity located in Illinois in exchange for an



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1amount equal to or greater than $500, either in a single
2contract or when aggregated with all contracts for products or
3services between the same contracting entity and the freelance
4worker during the immediately preceding 120 days. "Freelance
5worker" does not include an individual performing construction
6services, an individual performing services as an employee
7under Section 10 of the Employee Classification Act, or an
8employee as defined in Section 2 of the Illinois Wage Payment
9and Collection Act.
10    "Contracting entity" means any person who retains a
11freelance worker to provide any service, other than:
12        (1) the United States government;
13        (2) the State of Illinois;
14        (3) a unit of local government, including school
15    districts; or
16        (4) any foreign government.
17    "Natural person" means an individual human being.
18    "Person" means any natural person, individual,
19corporation, business enterprise or other legal entity, either
20public or private, and any legal successor, representative,
21agent or agency of that individual, corporation, business
22enterprise, or legal entity.
23    Section 10. Payment of compensation for freelance workers.
24    (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, a freelance
25worker shall be paid the contracted compensation amount on or



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1before the date the compensation is due under the terms of the
2contract. If the contract does not specify when the hiring
3party must pay the contracted compensation or the mechanism by
4which the date will be determined, compensation shall be due
5no later than 30 days after the completion of the freelance
6worker's services under the contract.
7    (b) Once a freelance worker has commenced preparation of
8the product or performance of the services under the contract,
9the contracting entity shall not require as a condition of
10timely payment that the freelance worker accept less
11compensation than the amount of the contracted compensation.
12    Section 15. Contract for products and services of
13freelance workers.
14    (a) Whenever a contracting entity retains a freelance
15worker, the contract for such products or services shall be
16reduced to writing. The contracting entity shall furnish a
17copy of the written contract, either physically or
18electronically, to the freelance worker.
19    (b) The written contract for the product and service of a
20freelance worker shall include, at a minimum, the following
22        (1) the name and contact information of both the
23    contracting entity and the freelance worker, including the
24    mailing address of the contracting entity;
25        (2) an itemization of all products and services to be



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1    provided by the freelance worker, the value of the
2    products and services to be provided under the terms of
3    the contract, and the rate and method of compensation;
4        (3) the date on which the contracting entity must pay
5    the contracted compensation or the mechanism by which such
6    date will be determined, which shall be no later than 30
7    days after the products or services are provided; and
8        (4) the date by which a freelance worker must submit a
9    list of products or services rendered under such contract
10    to the contracting entity, if such a list is required in
11    order to meet any internal processing deadlines of the
12    contracting entity for the purposes of compensation being
13    timely rendered by the agreed-upon date as stipulated in
14    paragraph (3).
15    (c) The contracting entity shall retain the contract for
16the service of a freelance worker for no less than 2 years and
17shall make such contract available to the Department upon
19    (d) The Department shall make available model contracts on
20its website for use by the general public at no cost. Such
21model contracts shall be made available in English and in the 8
22languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient
23individuals in the State.
24    Section 20. Nondiscrimination. No contracting entity shall
25threaten, intimidate, discipline, harass, deny a freelance



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1opportunity to, or take any other action that penalizes a
2freelance worker for, or is reasonably likely to deter a
3freelance worker from, exercising or attempting to exercise
4any right guaranteed by this Act, or from obtaining any future
5work opportunity because the freelance worker has done so.
6    Section 25. Complaint procedure.
7    (a) A freelance worker may file a complaint with the
8Department alleging a violation of the Act by submitting a
9completed form, provided by the Department, and by submitting
10copies of all supporting documentation. The Department is
11authorized to request or require any information the Director
12deems relevant to the complaint or to its reporting
13requirements under Section 50, including, but not limited to:
14        (1) the general sector or occupation of the freelance
15    worker submitting a claim under this Act;
16        (2) the county where the work by the freelance work
17    was performed, if in Illinois; and
18        (3) at the discretion of the freelance worker, the
19    demographic data of the freelance worker submitting a
20    claim under this Act.
21    (b) Complaints alleging violation of Section 10, 15, or 20
22shall be filed within 2 years after the date the final
23compensation was due. Complaints shall be reviewed by the
24Department to determine whether there is cause for the
25Department to initiate the process of facilitating the



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



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1complaint, or by notifying the freelance worker that the
2Department lacks jurisdiction to initiate such process. When
3the Department initiates this process, the notice of complaint
4shall: (i) inform the contracting entity that a complaint has
5been filed alleging a violation of this Act; (ii) detail the
6civil remedies available to a freelance worker for violations
7of this Act by a contracting entity; (iii) include a copy of
8the complaint; and (iv) state that failure to respond to the
9complaint by the deadline established in paragraph (1) of
10subsection (e) creates a rebuttable presumption in any civil
11action commenced in accordance with this Act that the
12contracting entity committed the violations alleged in the
13complaint. The Department shall send such notice by certified
15    (e) Response.
16        (1) Within 20 days of receiving the notice of
17    complaint, the contracting entity identified in the
18    complaint shall send the Director one of the following:
19            (A) For a complaint under Section 10, a written
20        statement that the freelance worker has been paid in
21        full and proof of such payment.
22            (B) For a complaint under Section 10, a written
23        statement that the freelance worker has not been paid
24        in full and the reasons for the failure to provide such
25        payment.
26            (C) For a complaint under Section 15 or 20, a



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1        defense against the alleged violation.
2        (2) If the contracting entity identified in the
3    complaint does not respond to the notice within 20 days,
4    such failure to respond creates a rebuttable presumption
5    in any civil action commenced in accordance with this Act
6    that the contracting entity committed the violations
7    alleged in the complaint. Within 20 days of receiving a
8    written response, the Director shall send the freelance
9    worker a copy of:
10            (A) the contracting entity's response;
11            (B) any enclosures submitted with the response;
12            (C) materials informing the freelance worker about
13        the freelance worker's right to bring an action in a
14        court of competent jurisdiction; and
15            (D) any other information about the status of the
16        complaint.
17        (3) If the director receives no response to the notice
18    of complaint within the time provided by subsection (a),
19    the Director shall mail a notice of non-response to both
20    the freelance worker and the contracting entity by regular
21    mail and shall include with such notice proof that the
22    Director previously mailed the notice of complaint to the
23    contracting entity by certified mail. Upon satisfying the
24    requirements of this paragraph, the Director may close the
25    case.
26    (f) Attorney General powers.



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1        (1) Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause
2    to believe that any person or entity is engaged in a
3    pattern and practice prohibited by this Act, the Attorney
4    General may initiate or intervene in a civil action in the
5    name of the People of the State of Illinois in any
6    appropriate court to obtain appropriate relief.
7        (2) Before initiating an action, the Attorney General
8    may conduct an investigation and may:
9            (A) require an individual or entity to file a
10        statement or report in writing under oath or
11        otherwise, as to all information the Attorney General
12        may consider necessary;
13            (B) examine under oath any person alleged to have
14        participated in or with knowledge of the alleged
15        violation; or
16            (C) issue subpoenas or conduct hearings in aid of
17        any investigation.
18        (3) Service by the Attorney General of any notice
19    requiring a person or entity to file a statement or
20    report, or of a subpoena upon any person or entity, shall
21    be made:
22            (A) personally by delivery of a duly executed copy
23        thereof to the person to be served or, if a person is
24        not a natural person, in the manner provided in the
25        Code of Civil Procedure when a complaint is filed; or
26            (B) by mailing by certified mail a duly executed



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1        copy thereof to the person to be served at the person's
2        last known abode or principal place of business within
3        this State or, if a person is not a natural person, in
4        the manner provided in the Code of Civil Procedure
5        when a complaint is filed.
6        The Attorney General may compel compliance with
7    investigative demands under this Section through an order
8    by any court of competent jurisdiction.
9        (4)(A) In an action brought under this Act, the
10    Attorney General may obtain, as a remedy, monetary damages
11    to the State, restitution, and equitable relief, including
12    any permanent or preliminary injunction, temporary
13    restraining order, or other order, including an order
14    enjoining the defendant from engaging in a violation, or
15    order any action as may be appropriate. In addition, the
16    Attorney General may request and the court may impose a
17    civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each violation or
18    $10,000 for each repeat violation within a 5-year period.
19    For purposes of this Section, each violation of this Act
20    for each person who was subject to an agreement in
21    violation of this Act shall constitute a separate and
22    distinct violation.
23        (B) A civil penalty imposed under this subsection
24    shall be deposited into the Attorney General Court Ordered
25    and Voluntary Compliance Payment Projects Fund. Moneys in
26    the Fund shall be used, subject to appropriation, for the



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1    performance of any function pertaining to the exercise of
2    the duties of the Attorney General, including, but not
3    limited to, enforcement of any law of this State and
4    conducting public education programs; however, any moneys
5    in the Fund that are required by the court or by an
6    agreement to be used for a particular purpose shall be
7    used for that purpose.
8    (g) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent any
9freelance worker from making complaint or prosecuting his or
10her own claim for compensation. Any freelance worker aggrieved
11by a violation of this Act or any rule adopted under this Act
12may file suit in circuit court of Illinois, in the county where
13the alleged violation occurred or where any freelance worker
14who is party to the action resides, without regard to
15exhaustion of any alternative administrative remedies provided
16in this Act. Actions may be brought by one or more freelance
17workers for and on behalf of themselves and other freelance
18workers similarly situated.
19    (h) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the
20authority of the State's Attorney of any county to prosecute
21actions for violation of this Act or to enforce the provisions
22thereof independently and without specific direction of the
24    Section 30. Civil enforcement.
25    (a) Any freelance worker not timely paid final



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1compensation by a contracting entity as required by Section 10
2shall be entitled to recover through civil action double the
3amount of any such underpayments, injunctive relief, and other
4such remedies as may be appropriate. In a civil action for
5violation of Section 10, such freelance worker shall also be
6entitled to recover costs and all reasonable attorney's fees.
7A civil complaint alleging violation of Section 10 shall be
8filed within 2 years after the date the final compensation was
10    (b) Any freelance worker who was retained in violation of
11paragraphs (a) or (b) of Section 15 despite the freelance
12worker's request for a written contract prior to commencing
13the contracted work as required by Section 15 shall be
14entitled to recover through a civil action statutory damages
15of $500. A freelance worker who prevails on a claim alleging
16violation of Section 15 and on one or more claims under other
17Sections shall be awarded statutory damages equal to the value
18of the underlying contract or $500, whichever is greater, in
19addition to the other remedies provided. Civil complaints
20alleging violation of Section 15 shall be filed within 2 years
21after the date the final compensation was due.
22    (c) Any freelance worker who is threatened, intimidated,
23disciplined, harassed, denied a freelance opportunity, or
24penalized by a contracting entity in violation of Section 20
25shall be entitled to recover through a civil action statutory
26damages equal to the value of the underlying contract for each



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1violation of Section 20. In a civil action for violation of
2Section 20, such freelance worker shall also recover costs and
3all reasonable attorney's fees.
4    Section 35. Public policy and intent.
5    (a) The provisions of this Act shall apply only to
6contracts taking effect after the effective date of this Act.
7    (b) Except as otherwise provided by law, any provision of
8a contract purporting to waive rights under this Act is void as
9against public policy.
10    (c) The provisions of this Act are intended to supplement,
11and do not diminish or replace, any other basis of liability,
12remedy, or requirement established by statute or common law.
13    (d) Failure to comply with this Section does not render
14any contract between a contracting entity and a freelance
15worker void in total, voidable, or otherwise impair any
16obligation, claim, or right related to the contract, nor does
17it constitute a defense to any action or proceeding to
18enforce, or for breach of, such contract.
19    (e) No provision of this Act relating to freelance workers
20shall be construed as providing a determination about the
21legal classification of any such worker as an employee or
22independent contractor.
23    Section 40. Public awareness. Subject to appropriation,
24the Department may conduct a public awareness campaign



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1regarding this Act that, at a minimum, includes making
2information available on its website, otherwise informing
3contracting entities of the provisions of this Act, and
4establishing a means for assistance by a natural person
5through phone or email.
6    Section 45. Reports. One year after the effective date of
7this Act, and by November 1 every 5 years thereafter, the
8Department shall submit to the General Assembly and publish on
9its website a report regarding freelance contracting and
10payment practices. The report shall include, but is not
11limited to:
12        (1) the number of complaints received by the
13    Department under this Act;
14        (2) the value of the contracts disaggregated into
15    ranges of $500 and by the Section of this Act the
16    associated contracting entity is alleged to have violated;
17        (3) the numbers of responses and non-responses
18    received from contracting entities by the Department
19    disaggregated by contract value into ranges of $500 and by
20    the Section of this Act the associated contracting entity
21    is alleged to have violated;
22        (4) the general sector or occupation of the freelance
23    workers submitting claims in accordance with this Act;
24        (5) the counties where violations of this Act are
25    alleged to have occurred, if in Illinois, including the



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1    number of violations from each county, identified by the
2    county where the work was performed;
3        (6) to the extent available, demographic data of the
4    freelance workers who have alleged violations of this Act;
5    and
6        (7) legislative recommendations as the Director deems
7    appropriate, which may include consideration of whether
8    certain occupations should be exempted from the scope of
9    the definition of freelance worker.
10    Section 50. Coordination. The Department is authorized to
11coordinate efforts under this Act with other agencies and
12combine complaints under this Act with claims under other
14    Section 55. Rulemaking. The Director, or the Director's
15authorized representatives, shall administer the provisions of
16this Act. In order to accomplish the objectives of this Act and
17to carry out the duties prescribed by this Act, the Director,
18or the Director's authorized representative, may adopt rules
19necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this
21    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,