Illinois House Passes Wage Theft Bill

Cynthia Brooke |

The Illinois House of Representatives has passed a measure aimed at strengthening the state's ability to fight wage theft. 

A recent University of Illinois-Chicago study brought new attention to the prevalence of companies short-changing workers. Ted Smukler is the policy director for Interfaith Worker Justice. He says organizations like his have been more successful at recovering lost wages than the state.

SMUKLER: You know these scrappy little organizations can do things government offices can't. They can take a group of workers to directly confront the boss or talk to the boss's customers. They can get them in touch with private attorneys. Government process on this is slow and redundant. And Smukler says that's why this bill is important.

Adam Kader of Arise Chicago says the law would streamline the state's process of helping workers receive money they deserve. 

The state Senate needs to approve a House amendment before the bill could go to the governor.