Illinois Department of Labor issues first Labor Day Report

Focus on rights, wages and welfare of Illinois workers


In an effort to explain and improve its relations with both Labor and management, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) recently issued its first Labor Day Report. Department officials say they hope to issue such a report annually in conjunction with Labor Day.

“Rights, Wages & Welfare of Illinois Workers: A Labor Day Report” is a free 28-page document outlining ways in which the department tries to promote jobs, better working conditions, and fair wages across Illinois. You can view the report online at

Acting Director Jane R. Flanagan said in a statement: “Labor Day is an annual reminder of the importance of safeguarding our core labor standards, so that all workers can perform their work safely with the knowledge that they will be fully and fairly compensated for that work. This Labor Day Report presents updates on the important work the department does to enforce these standards.”

“This was our first Labor Day Report, and provided a detailed overview of IDOL divisions and the work we do here at IDOL,” Flanagan said. “In future years, the report may not focus as heavily on detailing the breakdown of IDOL divisions.”

Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, said in a telephone interview that he and members of his office’s staff were extremely pleased with the Labor Day Report.

“We have an advocate now in the Illinois Department of Labor, and obviously we’re very happy with that,” Drea said.

He said he read the entire report and agreed with the information contained in the document. He said it was clear that both Flanagan and Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker had the interests of Labor at heart.

Drea contrasted that with the administration of the previous Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, who largely ignored the concerns of unions and union workers throughout his four years as governor, Drea said.

As noted in the report, the staff of the Department of Labor is focusing much of their attention for the next year on:

  • Nurse Agency Licensing implementation. The Nurse Agency Licensing Act recently was changed by the General Assembly. The act requires nurse agencies to meet certain requirements by the time they renew their licenses or whenever a new contract term begins. The department promised to carefully monitor nurse agency licensure renewals to ensure that each applicant is aware of and in compliance with the new requirements of the act. There has been a large increase in the department’s data and document collection duties, as well as the responsibility to produce annual reports on the compensation of nurses and certified nurse aides who are placed at Illinois health care facilities by nurse agencies. 
  • Complaints under the state’s Family Bereavement Leave Act. Due to the expansion of protections in the act to include unpaid time off following the death of a family member other than a child, as well as a miscarriage, or other loss related to adoption or fertility, the department is preparing for a potential increase in complaints under the act, as well as the need to educate employers on the new protections.
  • Reports of wage data submitted under the Illinois Equal Pay Act. The department is preparing to analyze the wage data collected under Section 11 of the Equal Pay Act, called the Equal Pay Registration Certificate program. It may be possible to identify trends or irregularities on the basis of industry or profession. Any information analyzed or published by the department will be anonymous on the part of both the employer and the employee. 


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