State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is supporting a bill that he argued would provide for stronger enforcement of fair pay laws, employee safety protections and fair hiring practices.
The legislation, Senate Bill 161, would create a workplace protection “watchdog” unit in the Illinois Attorney General’s office, according to a news release. The unit would focus on investigating instances of unsafe working conditions, non-payment, unfair hiring practices and discriminatory behavior across the state.
“Good jobs are the foundation of a stable community, so maintaining safe working conditions and steady paychecks is crucial,” Connor said. “Businesses that mistreat their workers do damage far beyond just the stolen wages, unsafe job sites and discrimination that are reported.”
He said such businesses “undermine confidence in the basic concept for a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work and taint the industry they’re in for the other businesses that don’t prey on the vulnerable.” The legislation also would create the Worker Protection Task Force, which would refine investigative methods and spread awareness of businesses that exploit workers.
“Stepping on their workers’ right to rack up bigger profits weakens Illinois,” Connor said. “Illinois workers deserve jobs that are safe and fair and employers who are going to give them what they’re owed, when they’re owed it.”