SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to prevent employers from under-paying employees and shutting down business before a wage claim can be brought against them, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is fighting to pass a measure out of the House that allows a lien to be placed on the properties of these employers for the amount of wages owed.
“It really shouldn’t be that difficult for any size employer, from mom and pop small businesses to Fortune 500 Companies, to do business ethically,” said Welch. “We won’t let these businesses wipe their slates clean by simply shutting down when they owe their employees. If employers think they can steal from hardworking employees and sneak out of the back door, they have another thing coming.”
Welch is the sponsor of House Bill 4324, a measure that lays out the Wage Lien Act. This Act is a new tool that employees can use to ensure that stolen wages are paid in their entirety. The Act provides that an employee may, with five-day notice, establish a lien on all of the employer’s property located in Illinois for wages owed under any claim made with the Illinois Department of Labor. The Act also provides that an employee’s wage lien up to $30,000 could take lien priority on property owned by the employer, allowing them to be paid before bankruptcy adjudicates them from financial obligations.
“We are seeing far too many in our state being undercut when they go to work to provide an honest day’s work, with the reasonable expectation of an honest day’s pay,” said Welch. “If enacted, this bill will provide a simple, powerful tool for working people to hold unethical businesses accountable in ways they haven’t been able to in the past.”
House Bill 4324 passed the House Labor and Commerce Committee in late February and is expected to be heard for consideration by the full House of Representatives in the near future.
Welch represents the 7th House District, which includes portions of River Forest, Forest Park, Maywood, Broadview, Bellwood, Berkeley, Hillside and Westchester. For more information, please contact Rep. Welch’s office at 708-450-1000.
Visit Rep Welch’s website
200-5S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 524-0448 FAX
10055 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Westchester, IL 60154
(708) 450-1104 FAX