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Is Your Business Complying With The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act?

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Is Your Business Complying With The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act?

If you are a contractor or subcontractor in the state of Illinois, you should be aware of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, which pertains to wages for construction workers, laborers, and mechanics on public works. Understanding the Act is important, as even unintentional violations of the law could have severe impacts on the economic health of a business and even prevent it from obtaining future public contracts with the state.

Under the Act, employees on public works must be paid the general prevailing rate on public works projects, which consists of the hourly cash rate as well as any fringe benefits awarded to other workers conducting work similar in character in the locality where the job is performed. To help aid with compliance, the Illinois Department of Labor provides a county by county list of the prevailing wages for various trades, including:

  • Truck drivers
  • Brick layers
  • Boilermakers
  • Carpenters
  • Cement masons
  • Electricians
  • Iron workers
  • Machinists
  • Laborers
  • Painters
  • Roofers
  • Plumbers

The law defines “public works” as “all fixed works constructed or demolished by any public body, or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds” and includes “all projects financed in whole or in part with bonds, grants, loans, or other funds made available by or through the State or any of its political subdivisions.”

Penalties for violating the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act

Contractors and subcontractors found underpaying their laborers on public works projects must compensate the employees the difference between the wages paid and the prevailing wage under the law. Furthermore, violators could be subject to other penalties including fines and punitive damages.

Even worse, repeat violators could be barred for receiving contracts for public works projects for four years if found to have broken the provisions of the Prevailing Wage Act two times within a five-year period. Without the income from state government contracts, many construction companies would struggle to stay in business.

When the Illinois Department of Labor receives a complaint, the director conducts an audit and investigation of the incident and provides a notice of violation to the employer if one exists. After receiving a second notice of violation, the contractor may request an initiation of a hearing within 10 days of the notice to try and prevent the prohibition from receiving state contracts.

Illinois employment lawyers

If you received a notice your business violated the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, contact our office for a consultation on your case. The experienced employment lawyers of Goldman & Ehrlich can help your business avoid costly penalties or debarment which could cripple your company. Call us today 312-332-6733.

My employer promised me a raise and put it in a contract, but is not keeping his promise

Breach of contract is a claim seen in many courtrooms around America. Employers who do not follow the terms of your employment contract may be held liable in court. You have rights, but you must consult with an attorney before proceeding with your case. Suing your employer is a slippery slope if you do not work with the right lawyer.

#1: Do You Still Have Your Job?

You may sue your employer even if you have quit your job. Many attorneys would recommend finding new employment before filing suit as you may lose your job when the suit is filed. Ask your attorney how you should proceed with your case before making any big decisions. There are cases that can be resolved amicably, but your attorney will test the waters to see what will be best in your situation.

#2: What Language Was Breached?

Breach of contract could cover the smallest and largest parts of your contract. Minor breaches of contract may be oversights that are cleared up with a cease and desist letter. Majors breaches of your contract must be settled through legal action. Your attorney can negotiate with your employer on your behalf, or your attorney can file suit against your employer.

#3: Negotiations

You may negotiate to keep your job if you wish to stay, and your attorney may reach a settlement over damages in your case. You can go back to work with an understanding that your contract will be followed, or you will receive damages if you have moved on to another company.

#4: Proving Your Case in Court

Your attorney will request evidence showing that your contract was breached. You must document everything you can that points to a breach of contract, and you must have a paper copy of your contract as evidence. Your case could be difficult to prove in court if you do not have evidence, and there are cases that cannot be proven because the evidence is circumstantial.

Breach of contract by your employer can be met with severe legal consequences for your employer. You may choose to move to a new job, but you are still free to file suit for past indiscretions by a previous employer. An attorney can research your case to determine if you should be compensated for your employer’s wrongdoing. Contact our firm today to get started.