CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Tuesday that her office has collected close to $2.2 million in benefits and wages owed to workers in Illinois in the past two years.
In 2011, Madigan's office collected $1,052,351 in wage and benefit claims that were referred to her office, particularly under the Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Prevailing Wage Act and the Minimum Wage law by the Illinois Department of Labor. The previous year, the amount collected was $1,120,672.
"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," Madigan said. "I will continue to aggressively prosecute employers who cheat workers out of wages and benefits that they are rightfully owed."
Over the course of two years, approximately 332 cases were closed due to settlements and judgments that in some cases took more than a year to reach. Several of the cases have been resolved recently.
In 2011, Madigan helped to create House Bill 3237, which makes violations of the Prevailing Wage Act a Class A misdemeanor and does not allow violators to work on taxpayer-funded public projects for four years. The amendment took effect on January 1 and will increase enforcement and improve compliance in an effort to prevent fraud.