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YI Applauds Legislators’ First Step to Fully Support Illinois Young Workers

April 12, 2022
Contact: Juan Ramiro Sarmiento
(785) 760-6567 |

YI Applauds Legislators’ First Step to Fully Support Illinois Young Workers

(Chicago, IL) – On April 5th, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 639, which calls for the General Assembly to adopt a Young Workers’ Bill of Rights. This resolution is a first step towards supporting Illinois’ young workers ages 18-34 during a tumultuous economy.

The resolution calls for the General Assembly to establish a Young Workers’ Bill of Rights that includes the rights to:

  • a secure wage, a stable work schedule, employer contributions, workers’ compensation
  • a pathway to consider unionization
  • maintain an income and employment in the event of illness and life changes;
  • afford safe, clean housing, food, transportation, and child care; and
  • equitable access to early career experiences

H.R. 639 also calls on Illinois leaders to expand the availability of youth apprenticeships in low-wealth communities, and ensure young adults are actively involved in shaping economic policies.

In response, Lily Rocha, Midwest Regional Director for Young Invincibles issued the following response.

“For years, young workers in Illinois have been facing insufficient wages, inconsistent working hours, no access to paid time off, poor job security, and extensive barriers to employment for those that are most in need. The pandemic has only exacerbated these systemic issues, particularly in industries employing young workers. Right now, young adults are at the biggest disadvantage in the workforce, creating wider disparities for future generations, especially for Black and Latinx communities.

During this legislative session, young workers, Young Invincibles, and over 25 workforce advocacy groups collectively advocated for the first step to establish a Young Workers’ Bill of Rights through a House Resolution led by State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-39). YI graciously thanks Rep. Guzzardi for his leadership for young worker rights, as well as Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Emmanuel “Chris’ Welch and other representatives who sponsored the resolution.

Young workers have spoken out. They’re energized by this first step, and YI calls on Illinois state legislators to continue the work to establish the Young Workers’ Bill of Rights as soon as possible.”

Representative Will Guzzardi (D-39)

“All workers deserve a stable job that provides them the income to meet their needs and the predictability to structure their lives,” said Rep. Guzzardi. “Young workers, unfortunately, are especially vulnerable to low wages, poor benefits, and fluctuating schedules. Our resolution will make it clear that Illinois believes in quality jobs for every young person in our state.”