The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced the recovery of over $1 million in wages and benefits owed to the state’s workers in 2012. Part of the effort to uptick in back wages was the result of an amendment, by Madigan’s office, to the state’s prevailing wage law which made it easier to enforce. The amendment made violations of the Prevailing Wage Act a Class A misdemeanor and prohibited those convicted of violating the act from working on taxpayer-funded public projects for four years.
Working with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) for violations of the Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Minimum Wage Law and the Prevailing Wage Act Madigan’s office collected a total of $1,049,392 and initiated 473 new lawsuits.
“The law requires that Illinoisans be compensated for the work they perform, but as these cases demonstrate, employers far too often attempt to cheat workers out of wages and benefits they have earned,” Madigan said. “I will continue to prosecute employers who violate the law by failing to pay the full wages their employees are due.”
Recent claims successfully litigated by Madigan’s office include:
• Brightstar Healthcare in Gurnee agreed to pay more than $118,000 after previously failing to pay overtime wages owed to more than 20 employees;
• Clarence Davids & Co. in Matteson paid more than $68,000 to settle a prevailing wage claim;
• Eckland Consultants, Inc. in Lincolnshire paid more than $44,000 for back pay and accrued vacation pay for an employee under the Wage Payment and Collection Act;
• Pedro Valdivia d/b/a V&A Landscaping in Elgin agreed to pay more than $96,000 after previously failing to pay prevailing wages to nine employees; and
• American Spring Wire of Kankakee paid more than $44,000 in Wage Payment and Collection Act claims on behalf of approximately 20 employees.
Speaking on behalf of the Illinois Department of Labor, Director Joseph Costigan praised Madigan’s cooperation throughout the year by saying,
“Our Department works diligently to ensure thousands of Illinois workers receive the wages they’ve earned. With the assistance and support of the Attorney General’s office, we will continue our joint effort to help workers recover owed wages and ensure a level playing field for employers who abide by the law.”