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New Wave of Litigation Places Day and Temporary Labor Agencies and the Businesses That Use Them Under Attack!

September 2012

By: Sean F. Darke, Esq.

A new wave of litigation has been hitting Illinois courts directed at day and temporary labor agencies and businesses ("business" or "third party clients") that use those temporary workers! The State of Illinois has several wage and hour laws that every business must comply with, however, for day and temporary agencies, a special law was created to cover their workforce. And up until this year, it really was not enforced as much as the other wage and hour laws. But that has all changed in 2012. The purpose of this article is to bring Illinois day and temporary labor agencies a quick reference to some common violations.

The Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Service Act ("IDTLSA" or "Act") provides specific requirements for day and temporary labor agencies, but those requirements are being overlooked by both day and temporary labor agencies and by the businesses that use those day or temporary workers. The reason that businesses that use day or temporary workers need to pay attention is because the Act specifically makes third party clients responsible for violations under the Act. Yes, that means the business that uses day and temporary workers is also responsible for any violation under the IDTLSA!

One main requirement that continues to be overlooked is the notice required at the time of dispatch, referred to as dispatch notice. The IDTLSA clearly provides that a day and temporary agency must provide this dispatch notice to the workers when the agency dispatches that worker to the third party site. The dispatch notice requires the day and temporary labor agency to include 1) the name of the day or temporary worker; 2) the name and the nature of the work to be performed; 3) the wages offered; 4) the name and address of the destination of each day or temporary laborer; 5) the terms of the transportation; and 6) whether a meal or equipment, or both, are provided, either by the day and temporary labor service agency or third party client, and the cost of the meal and equipment. These requirements are very straightforward; however, day and temporary labor agencies are continually failing to include those requirements at the time of dispatch. The IDTLSA provides that failure to meet this notice requirement may result in a fine of up to $500 per violation, until the violation is corrected. In addition to the dispatch notice, the IDTLSA requires a wage notice, when the worker is paid, and if that requirement is violated, the day and temporary labor agency may be fined up to $500 per violation.

The above requirements only scratch the surface of day and temporary labor agencies' responsibilities under the IDTLSA. Further, businesses who utilize temporary workers should confirm that their agency is in compliance, because they could be responsible for certain damages. Wessels Sherman urges all day and temporary agencies to discuss these requirements with their attorney to make sure they are in compliance and businesses who utilize day or temporary laborers must be aware that they can also be liable if the above requirements are not met. Do not wait until your business is served with a lawsuit; be proactive today and make sure your business is in compliance with the IDTLSA.

Questions? Please contact Sean F. Darke, a Wessels Sherman Shareholder, at (312) 629-9300 or [email protected].