Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that over the last two years, her office has collected nearly $2.2 million in wages and benefits owed to Illinois workers.
“The law requires that Illinoisans must be compensated for work they perform, but too often employers shirk the law and don't pay wages that workers have earned,” said Madigan. “I will continue to aggressively prosecute employers who cheat workers out of wages and benefits that they are rightfully owed.”
Last year, Madigan’s office collected $1,052,351 in wage and benefit claims referred to her office primarily under the Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Minimum Wage law and the Prevailing Wage Act by the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). In 2010, the amount was $1,120,672. During the two-year period, approximately 332 cases were closed as the result of judgments or settlements that in some cases can take more than a year to reach.
Recent claims successfully litigated by Madigan’s office include:
Traycee Home Services of Highwood in Lake County, which paid $202,430 to 86 workers who claimed the company was not complying with the minimum wage law;
Blue Line Enterprise of Chicago agreed to a $187,000 settlement in a prevailing wage suit brought by Madigan on behalf of eight employees who were not paid the prevailing wage while working on publicly funded construction projects in Cook County;
Gateway Tank, Inc. in Chicago agreed to pay $138,188 to settle a prevailing wage claim filed on behalf of 30 employees;
Madigan also reached a $116,000 settlement under the Wage Payment and Collection Act on behalf of an Illinois resident for wages and vacation pay he had not received from Clear Blue Interactive, a Florida corporation doing business in Illinois as Affluence Corp.
Last year, Attorney General Madigan helped to author House Bill 3237 which, among other things, makes violations of the Prevailing Wage Act a Class A misdemeanor and prohibits those convicted of violating the Act from working on taxpayer-funded public projects for four years. The amendment took effect Jan. 1, 2012, and should increase enforcement, bring about greater compliance and help to prevent fraud.