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New Laws Help Protect Illinois Temp Workers

Posted on: December 6th, 2017 by Romanucci & Blandin

Temporary workers in Illinois will now have more rights after new legislation was signed by Governor Rauner at the end of September. Advocates for temp workers have been tirelessly pushing for better regulations for years, and finally, they will see some changes.  

This new legislation requires temp agencies to provide their workers with important information about protective clothing, any equipment on the job site, and proper training before being put in the line of work. These changes are all in an effort to give temp workers the same benefits as permanent workers, and could help reduce the number of accidents that take place on job sites while also saving lives.  

In August of this year, attorneys at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC settled a case for a Chicago area family whose father died from injuries sustained at a temporary work site.  The gentleman was assigned to work at Raani Corp., a company that handles beauty and cosmetic products, and had been assigned to clean a 500-gallon tank that contained 170-185-degree water/acid solution.  He was not given any instruction on how to complete this task and ended up severely burned and in critical condition.  After the incident, he was not allowed to call an ambulance and had to wait almost two hours before receiving any medical treatment.

His burns led to significant further complications and less than a month after the incident, he tragically died due to his injuries. This terrible incident is just one of thousands of examples of workers who have suffered as a result of previously limited protections for temp workers.  

The Director of the Chicago Worker’s Collaborative, Tim Bell, is pleased that Rauner signed this legislation but knows that there is still more work to do.  Illinois is now a leading example in the temporary labor industry, and we need to push to give even more benefits to temporary laborers.  Next up on Bell’s list?  Wage parity and fighting to offer temp workers who have been at their jobs for eight to ten years the chance to become permanent employees with full benefits.  

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