Tobolski Sponsors Anti-Wage Theft Legislation

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski sponsored an ordinance amendment that will prohibit businesses who engage in wage theft from obtaining county contracts, business licenses and property tax incentives. The ordinance amendment was referred by the Cook County Board to its Committee on Finance for a hearing on February 10, 2015.

Inspired by advocacy work by ARISE Chicago surrounding the recent closing of the Source Interlink in McCook, Commissioner Tobolski is building support for new regulations that will prevent willful and repeat violators of existing wage laws from benefitting from Cook County benefits. “Millions of dollars in wages are stolen from workers by their own employers every year, and businesses who take advantage of Cook County workers should not benefit from Cook County contracts, licenses and property tax incentives,” said Tobolski.

The new laws will not affect businesses that have legitimate cases that they wish to pursue in court or matters that are settled pretrial, but rather are geared to target egregious violators. “We understand that some businesses have accounting errors or clerical errors and those cases are usually promptly settled. “We want to encourage settlement by taking County benefits off the table for those who lose at trial after victimizing their workers,” said Tobolski. If approved, the new laws will go into effect April 1, 2015.

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