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Illinois Governor Signs Bills Expanding Contractors’ Liability for Unpaid Wages

June 22, 2022


On June 10, Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed House Bill 5412 and its trailer bill, House Bill 4600, into law. Both bills amend the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) to make certain primary contractors liable for any debt owed by a subcontractor—at any tier— relating to the wage claimant’s performance of labor for contracts entered into on or after July 1.

Specifically, HB 5412 makes a primary contractor performing “erection, construction, alteration, or repair of a building, structure, or other private work in [Illinois]” liable for the wages and fringe benefits of its subcontractor’s employees if the subcontractor fails to pay those employees. This reallocation of liability puts prime contractors on the hook for wage theft committed by their subcontractors.

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