A lawsuit has been filed to stop new regulations by the state of Illinois that regulate how contingent and temp workers in the industrial sector are managed and paid. The regulations were approved earlier this year and do not affect clerical or professional workers.

The suit, filed by the American Staffing Association, the Staffing Services Association of Illinois and three staffing firms, argues the regulations impose draconian burdens on both staffing firms and their clients. It was filed against Jane Flanagan, director of the Illinois Department of Labor.

“All plaintiffs are amenable to reasonable regulation of the temporary staffing industry,” according to the complaint in the lawsuit. “Reasonable minds can differ as to the parameters for reasonable regulations, but no reasonable debate can be had about the crippling impact of the amendments to the [Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act] and related regulations. They impose extraordinary burden, cost and compliance risk in violation of federal law. The amendments and related regulations essentially guarantee noncompliance because compliance is literally impossible.”

The suit seeks to prohibit Illinois from enforcing provisions of the amended law that:

  • Require equal benefits be paid to temporary workers after working 90 days in a 12-month period.
  • Mandate that a temporary employee be reassigned if they refuse to work for a client experiencing a labor shortage.
  • Allow interested third parties to sue staffing firms over alleged violations of the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.

The provisions requiring equal benefits is onerous given the extreme difficulty in determining equal benefits when comparing temporary workers to directly employed workers, according to the lawsuit.

The “requirement that agencies ‘pay’ equivalent benefits may seem like a reasonable rule to those that do not operate staffing agencies or light industrial companies with the need for temporary labor,” according to the lawsuit. “But it is shockingly far from workable in practice, extraordinarily costly and burdensome, and is inconsistent with federal regulation.”

Previously, implementation of the equal pay and benefits provision was delayed until April 1, 2024.