Wage payment bill opens door for abuse, says ICC
Illinois Chamber of Commerce (ICC) President and CEO Todd Maisch fails to see the good that can come from lawmakers’ in Springfield enacting House Bill 2838.
“I think it’s very problematic for the state to be getting in the middle of any relationship between two private entities,” Maisch told the Prairie State Wire. “It makes it that much more difficult for contractors to bid on contracts at the lowest prices. If you have to factor in the subcontractor not doing what they are contractually obligated to do, that’s going to be the end result of that.”
The ongoing debate stems from the House recently passing an amendment to the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Act that mandates that general contractors be held responsible for the wages of their subcontractors’ employees regardless of such circumstances as the contractor having already fully compensated the subcontractor. Such payments would also be subject to interest and expose general contractors to such risks as seizure of property for noncompliance or nonpayment.
“There are clear problems with all of this,” Maisch added. “For one, it’s easy for an employee to allege they have not been paid by the subcontractor and try to stick the bill on the main contractor, who has no records or basis to defend themselves from such claims. These kinds of disputes need to stay between the employee and employer.”
With the bill now in the Senate Assignments Committee, Maisch said he anticipates the ICC and other groups becoming more vocal about suppressing the legislation.
“We will testify in front of the appropriate committee, talk to legislators and the governor if need be to say this is an inefficient way for taxpayers to be funding public works,” he said. “Under this proposal, the potential for abuse is way too great.”