(The Center Square) – Some say a measure regulating warehouses being considered at the Illinois Statehouse could hurt smaller companies.
House Bill 2547 would create the Warehouse Worker Protection Act and require large warehouse distribution centers to inform their workers what productivity quotas they must meet while on the job. The measure would also require warehouses to provide reasonably timed bathroom breaks and meal breaks.
State Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, a sponsor of the legislation, said its intention is to protect workers.
“This is a bill that I have been working on with the Teamsters and other advocates to really be able to address the increased demands that we are seeing on working-class people,” Villanueva said.
State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, worries these requirements will hurt small manufacturers.
“While all of the data and all of the comments are focused on Amazon, a lot of people are getting caught up in this legislation,” Plummer said. “It could be really burdensome for your small and medium-sized employers and for the people that work at those firms.”
Minnesota and California have recently passed similar legislation.
Illinois Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Clark Kaericher testified against Illinois’ proposed measure during the committee hearing Wednesday.
“HB 2547 would hinder the growth of the logistics industry in Illinois,” Kaericher said. “Some of the chamber’s concerns relate to the sharing of proprietary data, response times for requests in as little as three calendar days as opposed to 14 business days in other states, and the lack of definition of an adverse employment action which will lead to confusion and litigation.”
The bill currently sits with the Senate Assignments Committee. Lawmakers adjourn for the rest of the calendar year on Thursday.