"It is with great pride that I announce Gov. Blagojevich has signed House Bill 3471, the Day Labor Services Act today," said Illinois Deputy Chief of Staff of Labor, Esther Lopez. "We think today is a historic day. It is a law that is the most aggressive protection for day laborers in the country."
With that declaration, day labor workers and their supporters celebrated the passage of a strengthened Day Labor Services Act (DLSA) in Illinois. The new act, which took effect January 1, requires day labor agencies to be licensed and to maintain workers' compensation insurance, and it increases fines for non-compliance and establishes the right of workers to sue employers and agencies that violate the law.
Winning passage of this new law was no small task. Day labor workers and their supporters spent many hours drafting the new law and advocating for its passage. And while these workers are hopeful the new law will help, most harbor no illusions that additional government regulation, in and of itself, will correct the widespread abuses in the industry.