CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at the Chicago Federation of Labor’s Labor Day reception to recognize the important role of workers and organized labor in Illinois and America as the nation prepares to celebrate Labor Day.
“I am proud to join First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and the Chicago Federation of Labor today to honor workers in Illinois and across the country for their continuous efforts and integral roles in building and supporting our communities,” Raoul said. “My office’s Workplace Rights Bureau advances the employment rights of all Illinois residents by taking actions, such as investigating labor law violations, collecting owed wages and civil penalties, and filing lawsuits, to protect Illinois workers.”
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The Attorney General’s Workplace Rights Bureau was codified in state statute in 2020 and has since collected more than $2.8 million in owed wages and penalties and entered into 15 settlements and agreements to protect workers from discrimination and stolen wages.
Raoul’s Workplace Rights Bureau also advocates for important labor and employment law improvements by drafting amicus briefs and commenting on proposed regulatory changes, often in collaboration with other state attorneys general. A recent victory came in the form of a favorable ruling last week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in a case contesting “no-poach” provisions used by McDonald’s in its franchise agreements.
In November, Raoul led a bipartisan coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief opposing McDonald’s “no-poach” provisions. In the brief, Raoul and the coalition argued that such agreements violate federal antitrust laws and interfere with workers’ ability to seek better employment opportunities, wages and benefits. In the Aug. 25 ruling, the court determined that the U.S. district court judge who dismissed the lawsuit failed to properly analyze the “no-poach” provisions and called on the judge to reevaluate them.
Attorney General Raoul’s 2023 Labor Day report, out today, highlights recent settlements the office has obtained on behalf of Illinois workers:
- In July 2023, Attorney General Raoul announced a settlement resolving an investigation into a medical staffing company’s practice of deducting fees from employee wages when workers missed shifts. Under the settlement, GrapeTree Medical Staffing agreed to pay more than $950,000 in back wages and interest to current and former employees in Illinois.
- In May 2023, the Attorney General’s office announced a consent decree with Global Trade Hub Inc. and Eve Group Series LLC resolving an investigation into allegations the companies misclassified employees as independent contractors. The consent decree requires the companies to reclassify their workers as employees and submit to monitoring aimed at preventing future violations of the law. The companies were also required to pay $142,200 to resolve claims that they failed to properly pay their employees overtime wages.
Attorney General Raoul encourages workers who wish to file a complaint about an employer’s potentially unlawful practices to call the Workplace Rights Hotline at 1-844-740-5076 or visit the Attorney General’s website.
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