H.B. 2862, which became law on August 4, 2023, substantially amends the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act. The amendment places the following new obligations on staffing agencies and employers who utilize non-clerical temporary workers, which will result in a need for increased communications between employers and agencies, a review of related policies and practices, and, likely, additional expense.

Safety Standards

The amendment requires temp agencies to perform certain safety measures before sending a temporary worker to an employer. The agency must first inquire about the employer’s safety and health practices and any hazards. The agency has the right to visit the employer’s location, must urge the employer to correct any hazards, and must remove workers if a hazard is not remedied.

The agency must also provide workers with general safety training in the workers’ preferred language. The agency must then preserve a record of the training date and content and provide it to the workers. The agency must also inform the employer of the training content.

Finally, the agency must provide the workers with the Illinois Department of Labor hotline number for reporting safety concerns and inform the workers where to report at the workplace.

The amendment also places affirmative obligations on employers of temporary workers.  For example, an employer must inform a temp agency of any anticipated hazards the workers may encounter. It must also review the training curriculum the agency provided for the workers and determine whether such training appropriately addresses the general safety concerns in the industry. The employer itself must also provide the workers with safety training on the hazards unique to its worksite. The employer must then provide confirmation of the performance of said training to the agency within three business days.

Workers’ Rights

The amendment gives temporary workers the right to refuse assignment to an employment location where a labor dispute exists. Temp agencies may not send a temporary worker to an employment location with a labor dispute without first informing the worker, in writing and in a language understood by the worker, that a labor dispute exists at that employer’s location and that the worker has the right to refuse assignment. The agency must inform the worker that refusal would be “without prejudice to receiving another assignment.”

Equal Pay

Most significantly, the amendment gives non-clerical temporary workers the right to receive equal pay if assigned to an employer for more than ninety (90) days. Equal pay is defined as pay and the value of benefits equivalent to that which the lowest paid directly hired employee performing similar work at that employer’s location receives; questions remain as to how to calculate this. If no directly hired employee performing substantially similar work exists, the agency must pay the equivalent pay (including the value of benefits) of the lowest paid directly hired employee with the closest level of seniority to the temporary worker.  Upon request, an employer must provide a temp agency with the information necessary to comply with this requirement.