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Illinois leads way to mandate responsible staffing practices

May 30, 2019

June 1 marks a year since new staffing industry regulations took effect in Illinois under the Responsible Job Creation Act. Provisions of the law aim to address hiring discrimination, strengthen workplace safety, eliminate burdensome fees, and encourage more temp-to-hire conversions for the state’s 800,000 temporary workers.

Briefly, the law requires staffing agencies to:

  • Register with the Illinois Department of Labor and file an annual report showing the race and gender of the temporary workers they hire.
  • Notify workers about the types of equipment, protective clothing and training required to perform job assignments.
  • Pay workers for a minimum of 4 hours if assigned to a client’s work site but not utilized.
  • Provide return transportation from job sites if transportation is provided to the job site.
  • Attempt to place temporary workers into permanent positions with client businesses when such positions become available.

In addition, staffing agencies are prohibited from charging workers for criminal background checks, credit reports, drug tests, transportation or check cashing.

Now, building on the legislation, the Chicago Workers Collaborative is urging the Illinois Department of Labor to create a “Seal of Approval” system that would recognize and reward staffing companies that comply with the law, and persuade local governments to mandate the use of approved staffing businesses by municipal contractors.

Alliance member John Hess, president of Hess Advantage based in Illinois, said he favors a seal of approval. “It does add credibility to a lot of organizations that are mission-driven. And I think there’s no doubt that there are some bad players in the industry.”

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