Chicago/ Politics & Govt
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 14, 2024
Illinois House Advances Bill to Enhance Protections Against Workplace Retaliation, Attorney General Raoul Applauds MoveSource: Office of the Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

In a decided victory for Illinois workers, Attorney General Kwame Raoul has commended the recent House decision to advance a bill safeguarding employees from retaliatory acts by their bosses. The legislation passed by the House aims to bolster the state law, ensuring that those daring to speak up against workplace injustice do not face undue career consequences.

The bill in question, HB 5561, seeks to definitively fill in the gaps within current labor enforcement, safeguarding workers who choose to blow the whistle on illegal practices or violations of workplace safety. "Currently, workers who want to assert their basic workplace rights risk losing their livelihood and ability to provide for themselves and their families," Raoul told the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. "For some immigrant workers, asserting their rights means risking their ability to remain in the United States."

HB 5561's proposed improvements include broadening the scope of conduct shielded under the Illinois Whistleblower Act to encompass employees reporting direct to their employer as well as extending the definition of retaliation to cover both blacklisting and immigration-based retaliation, according to the aforementioned announcement. Further, the bill grants the Attorney General’s office explicit statutory authority to sue employers practicing or threatening retaliation.

Assistant Majority Leader Marcus C. Evans, Jr., who sponsored HB 5561, emphasized the bill's intent to shield workers from retaliatory action and to empower them to stand up when encountering illegal or unsafe conditions. "I introduced HB 5561 to ensure workers are protected from retaliatory action and empowered to stand up when illegal or unsafe practices occur in the workplace," Evans said. The legislation will now proceed to the Illinois Senate to certainly undergo further scrutiny.

Raoul’s Workplace Rights Bureau is known for tackling major wage law contraventions and other serious employment infractions while also focusing on legislation related to labor and employment issues. Workers who wish to report unethical or illegal employer behavior have been urged to call the Workplace Rights Hotline or visit the Office of the Illinois Attorney General's website.