SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, member of the Latino Caucus, passed legislation through the House that would ensure working families are not cheated out of their hard-earned money by unethical employers.

“Women, Latinos, and other minority workers are more likely to be cheated out of their hard-earned wages, so we must fight to safeguard and expand worker protections at the state level,” Hernandez said. “Wage theft contributes to poverty by pushing people below or further below the poverty line, making it harder for parents to support their children.”

Hernandez’s Senate Bill 1720 would increase the penalty for disobeying a court order to pay back wages the court finds have been stolen from an employee, and prohibits businesses who violate state law on the payment of wages from contracting with the state for at least five years.

Hernandez and House Democrats are committed to advancing reforms that lift up the middle-class while also leveling the playing field for small businesses so they can grow and expand the state’s economy. Wage theft is estimated to drain $800 million – $3 billion a year from the Illinois economy, and news reports have shown that Illinois is a very difficult state for workers to recover stolen wages.

“Taxpayer-funded contracts should not go to dishonest companies that cheat their employees. This legislation is a common-sense reform that not only helps workers, but also levels the playing field for Illinois businesses who treat their workers fairly and play by the rules,” Hernandez said. “If the governor is serious about improving the lives of working families and making it easier for small businesses to succeed, I urge him to sign this measure into law.”

Representative Hernandez worked on the groundbreaking legislation with grassroots organization HourVoice, which helps provide hourly workers with new technologies to combat wage theft and other worker abuses. It has passed both the House and Senate, and now heads to Gov. Rauner for consideration.

Hernandez is a member of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, and represents the 24th District, which includes Cicero, Little Village, Berwyn, Brookfield, Riverside, and Stickney.

Rep Lisa HernandezRep Lisa Hernandez

24th District

Visit Rep Lisa Hernandez website

Springfield Office:
229-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8173
(217) 558-1844 FAX

District Office:
2137 S. Lombard
Suite 205
Cicero, IL 60804
(708) 222-5240
(708) 222-5241 FAX