SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To ensure that workers are not being taken advantage of by employers, state Rep. Cyril Nichols, D-Chicago, backed legislation that was recently signed into law that increases penalties against employers who underpay their employees.
“With so many residents just beginning to recover from the financial difficulties of the past year, the last thing they need is to have their employers steal their hard-earned wages,” said Nichols. “Not paying employees what they are owed is theft, and this legislation will ensure that employers are severely punished when they decide to steal from their workers.”
According to the Chicago Mayor’s Office, $400 million a year is stolen from Chicago workers due to wage theft. To ensure that workers are being given what they are owed, Nichols voted in favor of House Bill 118, raising the monthly interest rate from 2% to 5% on unpaid wages that employees can recover from their employers in a wage claim or lawsuit, ensuring the longer that wages are stolen from an employee, the more compensation they may receive.
“Not only will this legislation discourage employers from committing wage theft, it will also ensure that employees who are stolen from are given the compensation they need after going potentially months without their expected wages,” said Nichols. “No one deserves to be stolen from, and I look forward to continuing to work to ensure nobody is taken advantage of in their place of work.”
To file a wage complaint, please visit Illinois Department of Labor’s website at www2.illinois.gov/idol/pages/complaints.aspx.