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State Labor Laws, 2003 - page 13 / 27





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replacement for the employee. A day and temporary labor service agency may not send any such laborer to any place where a strike, a lockout, or other labor trouble ex- ists. A day or temporary laborer who had been assigned to work for the employer at the time that the strike or lockout began may continue to be employed.

Whistleblowers. A Whistleblower Act ap- plicable to private sector employers was enacted. It provides that an employer may not make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regula- tion, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the informa- tion discloses a violation of a State or Fed- eral law, rule, or regulation. An employer may not retaliate against an employee for disclosing such information or for refusing to participate in an activity that would re- sult in a violation of a State or Federal law, rule, or regulation. Violation of the law is a Class A misdemeanor. If an employer takes any action against an employee in violation of the act, the employee may bring a civil action against the employer for relief, includ- ing but not limited to reinstatement, back pay, compensation for damages, litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney’s fees. The act does not apply to disclosures that would constitute a violation of the attorney-client privilege.

Executive Order No. 4 was issued speci- fying that any officer, employee or appoin- tee of any State agency is banned from retali- ating against, attempting to retaliate against, or in any manner interfering with a whistleblower for reasons arising out of his or her activities as defined in the State Whistle Blower Protection Act. Any officer, em- ployee or appointee of any agency who knowingly violates the provisions of the Executive order will be subject to disciplin- ary action, including but not limited to dis- charge.

The Whistleblower Reward and Protec- tion Act was amended to provide that the Attorney General may, instead of shall, del- egate the authority to issue subpoenas, sub- ject to conditions as the Attorney General deems appropriate. Additionally, the per- son issuing the subpoena shall advise that the person receiving the subpoena has 20 days from the date of service or up until the return date specified in the demand, which- ever date is earlier, to move, modify, or set aside the subpoena. Finally, the amendment removed all language concerning service of notice in foreign countries.

Other laws. Executive Order No. 6 was is- sued providing that any full-time employee of the State under the control of the Gover- nor, who is a member of any reserve compo- nent of the United States Armed Forces, in- cluding but not limited to the Illinois Army or Air National Guard, who is mobilized to active duty in response to the war with Iraq or other potential threats to national secu- rity, will continue to receive his or her regu- lar compensation as a State employee, plus any health insurance and other benefits he or she is currently receiving, minus the amount of his or her base pay for military activities.

Legislation similar to Executive Order No. 6 was enacted providing that any full- time employee of the State, other than an independent contractor, who is a member of the Illinois National Guard or a reserve com- ponent of the United States Armed Forces or the Illinois State Militia and who is mobi- lized to active duty must continue during the period of active duty to receive his or her benefits and regular compensation as a State employee, minus an amount equal to his or her military active duty base pay.

Coverage of the Military Leave of Ab- sence Act was expanded to now include em- ployees of units of local government and school districts in addition to employees of the State as before. The law now provides that any full-time employee of the State, a unit of local government, or a school district, other than an independent contractor, who is a member of the Armed Forces will be granted leave from his or her public employ- ment for any period actively spent in mili- tary service. Home rule units are barred from regulating their employees in a manner in- consistent with the law.

A State Prohibition of Goods from Forced LaborAct was enacted. It provides that each contract entered into by a State agency for the procurement of equipment, materials, or supplies must specify that foreign-made goods produced under the contract were not produced in whole or in part by forced, con- vict, or indentured labor. A contractor in vio- lation may be subject to a penalty of the greater of $1,000 or 20 percent of the value of the equipment, materials, or supplies; the contract may be voided; and the contractor may be suspended from bidding on a State contract for up to 360 days. Sanctions may be waived if it is determined that the con- tractor acted in good faith.

It was made unlawful for a person to knowingly use a false academic degree for the purpose of obtaining employment.

entities throughout the State to celebrate his birthday.


Child labor. The child labor law was amended to make it unlawful to permit a child who is under age 18 to work after 10 p.m. and before 6 a.m. in an establishment that is open to the public, unless another employee at least 18 years of age also works in the establishment during the same hours as the child. Violation will be considered to be a hazardous occupation violation subject to a warning letter for any violations found during an initial inspection; a $100 fine per instance for each violation identified in a subsequent inspection; $200 per instance for a third violation; and $400 per instance for a fourth or subsequent violation that occurs not more than 2 years after a prior violation. Another amendment changes the rest break requirement for children who work at least 6 consecutive hours—from a single break of at least 30 minutes to one or two breaks totaling at least 30 minutes with the time period specified for making the break available eliminated.

Equal employment opportunity. The Gover- nor issued an Executive order establishing a NativeAmerican IndianAffairs Commission to study issues common to Native American Indian residents of Indiana in the areas of employment, education, civil rights, health, and housing. The commission may make recommendations to appropriate Federal, State, and local government agencies con- cerning issues including measures to stimu- late job skill training and related workforce development, including initiatives to assist employers to overcome communication and cultural differences, and programs to encour- age the growth and support of NativeAmeri- can-owned businesses. The commission is to report on its activities to the Governor at least annually.

Worker privacy. The law relating to public records was amended to provide that the factual basis of a disciplinary action in which final action has been taken resulting in the suspension, demotion, or discharge of a public employee is a public record. Another change allows a governing body in an executive session to receive information about misconduct and discuss the status of a school bus driver, who is an independent contractor, before the governing body makes a determination.

A resolution was adopted recognizing March 31st as Cesar Chavez Day in Illi- nois and encouraging public and private

Other laws. A law was enacted extending active duty military rights and protections

Monthly Labor Review

January 2004


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