Inside a business with patron at deskSPRINGFIELD–State Senator Celina Villanueva spearheaded an initiative to increase worker protections during the work week that was signed into law Monday.

“We humans perform at our best when we are well-rested and taken care of,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “This law helps ensure that employers respect the rights of workers so that they are both safe and productive in their work environments.”

The new law was brought to Senator Villanueva by the Illinois Department of Labor and Arise Chicago, a community-based organization fighting workplace injustice through advocacy and public policy. Thanks to the cooperation of businesses, agencies and community organizations, Senator Villanueva led the Senate in passing Senate Bill 3146, which modernizes the language of the One Day Rest in Seven Act –an existing law that details the duration and amount of breaks workers are entitled to in a work week. Villanueva’s measure also increases the penalties employers receive for violating this law and adjusts the cost of the penalty based on the size of the workforce where the violation occurred.

“Labor laws protect an extremely important component of all workforces: the worker,” Villanueva said. “Without the worker, no business can stand on its own, which is why we have to do all we can to make sure Illinois’ hardworking populations are neither taken advantage of nor deprived of the conditions and treatment they deserve in the workplace.”

The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.