BELLEVILLE, IL – A proposal led by state Rep. Jay Hoffman, (D-Swansea), will update the state’s nursing laws to expand protections for workers employed by nurse staffing agencies.
“The pandemic underscored the critical value our nurses deliver for residents each and every day,” Hoffman said. “Due to staffing shortages, many health care facilities across the state had to rely on temporary contract nurses to meet demand, leading to a rise in costs for hospital and nursing care.
“As a result, we saw an opportunity to review and update state laws designed to help and protect these workers.”
As part of efforts to modernize Illinois’ Nurse Agency Licensing Act, Hoffman’s House Bill 4666, now signed into law, will:
- Prohibit nurse staffing agencies from entering into covenants not to compete with nurses and certified nurse aides.
- Prohibit conversion fees for employees who leave staffing agencies to work for individual health-care facilities.
- Require disclosure of rates charged by staffing agencies on contracts and require the Illinois Department of Labor to publish data on staffing agencies by county.
- Prohibit staffing agencies from poaching employees on the premises of a health care facility.
- Require all of the hourly pay rate of nurses and certified nurse aides employed by staffing agencies to go directly to the employee.
- Create new licensure requirements and penalties for staff agencies, including increased liability insurance and fines for non-compliance.
“This new law will help bring transparency when it comes to fees and labor practice reporting,” Hoffman said. “These individuals stepped up in the midst of a health crisis. It’s important that we have their back as well.”