Workers' Comp, Prevailing Wage on Legislative Agenda

Date: April 06, 2018

The General Assembly returns next Monday after a three-week break that included the primary election. This week is committee deadline week, wherein bills in committee must pass out or remain in committee the remainder of the session unless the bill is granted a continuance, though rare, would allow the sponsor a later chance to move the bill out of committee.

Here’s a look at some of the bills we’ll be following the week of April 9:

Bills NFIB Supports: 

  • HB 4187 (Reps. David Reis & Tom Bennett) Amends the Workers’ Compensation Act. Defines the terms “accident” and “injury”. Provides that “injury” includes the aggravation of a pre-existing condition by an accident arising out of and in the course of the employment, but only for so long as the aggravation of the pre-existing condition continues to be the major contributing cause of the disability. Provides that an injury resulting directly or indirectly from idiopathic causes is not compensable. Status: House Rules committee
  • HB 4500 and HJR 49,50,51 (Rep. Keith Wheeler) Revenue Estimate requirement would force the General Assembly to come up with a real revenue estimate prior to passing any spending bills. Status: HB 4500 is in House Executive committee. Resolutions all remain in the Rules committee
  • HB 4788 (Rep. Brian Steward) Prevailing Wage Waiver Amends the Prevailing Wage Act. Provides that the Act does not apply to a public works project with a total cost of $20,000 or less if the public body notifies the Department of Labor of each project. Status: House Rules committee and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
  • HB 5054 (Rep. Mike Unes) Workers’ Comp: Limits the scope of the term “arising out of and in the course of employment”. Makes changes regarding recovery when an employee is traveling. Increases the duration of the period of temporary total incapacity necessary for recovery. Provides for the implementation of a closed formulary for prescription medicine. Increases criminal penalties for specified unlawful acts. Status: House Labor committee
  • SB 2282 (Sen. Chuck Weaver) Limitations on Actions for Negligent Hiring Act would create new protections for employers from lawsuits for hiring an employee or independent contractor who has been convicted of a nonviolent, non-sexual offense. Status: Senate subcommittee on Tort Reform

Bills NFIB Opposes:

  • HB 2771 (Rep. Christian Mitchell) Healthy Workplace Act is mandated Paid Sick Leave. It would require all employers to provide up to 5 paid sick days annually to employees. The accrual rate of one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Employees can start using sick days after 180 days of employment Individuals may file civil actions with respect to violations of the new Act. This bill would not apply if the employer already provides 5 or more days of paid leave. Status: Passed House and Senate in 2017. But it is now back in the House with a motion to concur with two Senate amendments. A simple majority is needed to pass it. NFIB will request a governor’s veto if it passes.
  • HB 4163 (Rep. Anna Moeller) Equal Pay: Wage History: This bill is back from 2017, where it failed to pass the Senate. It would prohibit an employer from screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history as a condition of being interviewed/considered for employment. Status: Passed the House 87 – 24, moved to Senate. Sponsors: Sens. Castro, Holmes, T. Cullerton
  • HB 4293 (Rep. Chris Welch) Income Tax Hike – Investment Services Imposes a privilege tax on partnerships and S corporations engaged in the business of conducting investment management services. Provides that the tax shall be imposed at the rate of 20% of the fees calculated by reference to the performance of the investment portfolio funds and not from the investment itself. Status: House Revenue and Finance Committee.
  • HB 4324 (Rep. Chris Welch) Wage Lien Act legislation would allow workers to put liens on personal and business property of business owners and corporate officers for failure to pay wages under the wage payment & collection using civil legal procedures. Status: Passed out of House Labor committee on partisan roll-call, sponsor agreed to hold for further negotiations.
  • HB 5046 (Rep. Chris Welch) “Un” Fair Scheduling Act would require employers to provide work schedules to employees at least 72 hours before the start of the first shift of the work schedule. Provides for reporting pay when an employee’s work shift is canceled or reduced within 72 of the beginning of the shift. Authorizes lawsuits against employers for violations. Status: House Labor committee. Status: Passed out of Labor committee but the sponsor agreed to hold and return the bill to committee with an agreed amendment.
  • HB 4572 (Rep. Will Guzzardi) Amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to redefine “employer” to include any person employing one (currently 15) or more employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year of or preceding the alleged violation. Status: House Labor Committee
  • HB 4595 (Rep. Laura Fine) State-based Workers’ Comp Insurance company. It would be started with a $10 million “loan” from the Workers’ Compensation Commission fund that comes from insurance provider fees. The sponsor does not have a business or feasibility plan nor any experience in business or the insurance industry. Status: Passed out of House Labor committee on partisan roll call.
  • HB 5334 (Rep. Sonya Harper) Creates the Employee Background Fairness Act. Provides that an employer may not refuse to hire an individual and may not discharge an individual because of the individual’s criminal history unless the individual has one or more convictions and there is a direct relationship between one of more of an individual’s convictions and the specific employment sought. Status: House Labor committee
  • SB 2213 (Sen. Dan Biss) Illinois Workers’ Rights and Worker Safety Act provides that a State agency may establish workers’ rights and worker safety standards that are more stringent than those provided in federal law in existence as of January 1, 2017. Amends the Environmental Protection Act. Provides that in certain circumstances an action may be brought in a circuit court by a person in the public interest to enforce standards or requirements. Status: Senate Labor Committee
  • SB 2480 (Sen. Michael Hastings) Hazardous Material Workforce seeks to limit merit-shop contractors from specific private projects at stationary sources by requiring that contractors and any subcontractors use a trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an “apprenticeable” occupation in the building and construction trades. Status: Senate Labor Committee
  • SB 2999 (Sen. Patricia Van Pelt) Amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Provides that an employer shall reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee directly related to services performed for the employer. Status: Passed out of Senate Labor Committee
  • SB3005 (Sen. Kwame Raoul) would allow any “persons” to appeal or intervene in lawsuits challenging decisions of state agencies. This means that any person, Illinois resident or not, can be listed as an interested party in a proceeding, a power currently afforded to the agencies and plaintiff party requesting the proceeding. The legislation currently has been refined to apply only to permitting decisions by the Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Transportation, Public Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Status: Passed out of Senate Judiciary committee, sponsor agreed to continue negotiations
  • SB 3390 (Sen. Cristina Castro) Equal Pay- Salary History Prohibits an employer from: (i) screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, (ii) requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, and (iii) requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary. Status: Unassigned


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