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Labor Issues

PLA (project labor agreements) All state projects- collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.

Prevailing Wage (Member of Illinois Council) Illinois has Statewide Prevailing Wage on federal, state and local projects- hourly wage, usual benefits and overtime, paid in the largest city in each county, to the majority of carpenters. Prevailing wages are established, by the Department of Labor & Industries, for each trade and occupation employed in the performance of public work.

Responsible Bidder Responsible Bidding is the idea that public construction projects paid for by taxpayer money such as schools, libraries and water treatment plants need not automatically be awarded to the lowest bidder. The public body undertaking the project should retain some discretion to award the project to the lowest "responsible bidder."  Requirements are business registrations, show past compliance with environmental, labor and safety laws, relevant insurance coverage, prevailing wage compliance and apprenticeship and training participation.

Worker Misclassification Worker classification is most often concerned with one or both of two issues: (1) whether a worker is classified as an employee or an independent contractor for federal and state employment tax purposes; and (2) whether an employee is classified as exempt or nonexempt for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Unemployment Insurance Unemployment insurance is a state-operated insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work.  Like fire, accident, health and other types of insurance, it is for an emergency: when you are temporarily or permanently out of a job, or if you work less than full time because of lack of work.

The program ensures that, if you meet the eligibility requirements of the law, you will have some income while you are looking for a job, up to a maximum of 26 full weeks in a one-year period, depending on when the claim was established.  Unemployment insurance, however, cannot and does not protect you against wage losses while you are absent from work due to illness or while you are idle by choice.

Worker’s Compensation Workers' compensation is a no-fault system of benefits paid by employers to workers who experience work-related injuries or diseases. 

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission resolves disputes between employees and employers regarding work-related injuries and illnesses.  A case is first tried by an arbitrator, whose decision may be reviewed by a panel of three commissioners. Cases may then be appealed to the circuit court, Appellate Court, and Illinois Supreme Court.  Like most court systems, the vast majority of disputes are resolved by settlement. 

The Committee to Protect Illinois Families, Martin Walter, Treasurer
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