villivalam 050523SPRINGFIELD – To protect employees exercising their rights, State Senator Ram Villivalam is advancing two pieces of legislation that would protect workers who are involved in labor disputes.

“Employees who understand and exercise their rights can be impeded by abusive employers, and this legislation takes steps to address those core issues,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “Many labor activists have stressed the importance of protecting workers fighting for their rights. This legislation supports that goal.”

To support employees that are protesting, House Bill 3396 makes changes to the Labor Dispute Act so that any person who places any object in the public way with intent to interfere with, obstruct, or impede a picket or other demonstration or protest, would be committing a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $500 and a sentence of imprisonment of less than one year.

House Bill 2907 provides that, in any labor dispute, a court cannot grant an award for monetary damages, except in the case of damage to an employer’s personal property as a result of conduct prohibited by law.

“We want to support employees who are exercising their rights,” Villivalam said. “With this legislation, we are protecting an employee’s right to picket as well as ensuring the courts will continue to uphold workers’ rights.”

House Bills 2907 and 3396 have passed the Senate.