Through the remainder of the year in this space, ASA will recap the association’s efforts in successfully defeating or significantly mitigating proposed legislation that would have harmed the staffing industry.
Earlier this year, the Illinois legislature passed, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law, HB 2862, legislation that amends the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act. Advocacy efforts led by ASA; the Illinois Search and Staffing Association, an ASA-affiliated chapter; and ASA lobbyist Paul Rosenfeld of the Government Navigation Group were instrumental in mitigating the law’s burden on temporary staffing companies.
After several months of hearings and negotiations, leaders of the Illinois General Assembly made clear that the bill—including the requirement that certain temporary employees receive the same pay and benefits as equivalent direct hire employees after working for more than 90 calendar days for a client—was going to pass. Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville), the assistant majority leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, asked if there were any amendments that the industry would like to request, ASA submitted these suggested changes, which were adopted by the legislature:
- Removal of the requirement to collect race and ethnicity data on every applicant
- Removal of the requirement to disclose to employees the hourly bill rate charged to clients
- Increase in the waiting period to comply with the pay and benefits mandate from 60 days to 90 days
The law and amendments do not apply to temporary professional or clerical workers.
In August, the Illinois Department of Labor published proposed rules to implement HB 2862. ASA submitted a comment letter that suggested, among other things, that temporary labor agencies should have the option to calculate the 90-day waiting period based on their existing payroll systems and practices, that the equal pay mandate should apply only if the comparative direct hire job is “substantially similar,” and that the proposed safety training requirements should clarify that clients should conduct site-specific training.
Negotiations on a Technical Fix Amendment Lead to Delay in Equal Pay and Cost of Benefits Mandate
During a recent special legislative session, proponents and opponents of HB 2862 discussed possible technical corrections to the bill. The discussions ended without agreement. However, in early November, HB 3641 was enacted delaying implementation of the equal pay and benefits mandate. The law provides that calculation of the 90-day waiting period will not begin until April 1, 2024.
The delay bill was passed at the urging of ASA, the Illinois Search and Staffing Association, and the Staffing Services Association of Illinois. Industry representatives met with Rep. Hoffman, who was instrumental in achieving the delay.
The delay in implementing the equal pay and benefits mandate will give the Illinois Department of Labor time to draft regulations clarifying how the mandate will apply. State legislators had sharply criticized the department’s proposed rules, saying they were “too vague to provide meaningful guidance.”
ASA filed extensive comments on the proposed regulations and will continue to pursue legislative fixes when the legislature reconvenes in January.