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School of Labor and Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Worker Rights Project

Knowledge about basic worker protections is a crucial component of any job-readiness program or training for workers.

In partnership with workforce development agencies, faith-based institutions, high schools, veterans programs, and community-based organizations, LEP provides introductory workers’ rights classes to groups that are already engaged in a collective learning process.

These interactive workshops help students understand their rights on the job and ways in which they can protect themselves from violations of workplace laws. Students who are aware of their rights at work can protect themselves against wage theft, illegal discrimination, workplace injuries, and other violations of the law. This class focuses on key areas of employment law and health and safety regulations that particularly affect lower-wage workers in Illinois.

Customized courses are available for groups that are preparing for specialized occupations in industries such as healthcare or construction. Training is also offered for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces that focuses on the unique worker protections veterans are afforded under state and federal laws.

Classes can be held in the Labor Education Program office or at a partner organization’s site. All classes can be taught in Spanish or English.

Certificate Course

This six-part program provides participants with an in-depth examination of state and federal rules governing the workplace as well as resources for workers seeking redress for violations of employment law.

Each session is taught by LEP staff accompanied by experts in the fields of employment law, worker health and safety, and worker organizing.

Trainings utilize popular education techniques and are collective processes that involve an exploration and deepening of knowledge gained from shared life experiences. The final class in the series discusses ways students can bring this workers’ rights knowledge back to their organizations and serve as resources for community members seeking assistance.

Participants who attend all six workshops will receive a Certificate in Basic Worker Rights provided by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Class Schedule

SEMINAR 1: Introduction to Employment Law
SEMINAR 2: Health and Safety at the Workplace
SEMINAR 3: Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Law
SEMINAR 4: Worker Centers and Enforcing Workers’ Rights
SEMINAR 5: Introduction to Unions
SEMINAR 6: Train the Trainer: Conducting Workers’ Rights Workshops

Employment Law & Workplace Rights for Workforce Development Professionals

LEP has partnered with the Chicago Jobs Council’s Frontline Focus Training Institute to provide worker rights training for frontline workforce development staff. These classes focus on key areas of employment law that affect lower-wage workers in Illinois and discuss ways to incorporate this crucial information into job readiness curriculums. Visit for more information or to register for an upcoming course.

Please contact Alison Dickson at (312) 996-2624 or to learn more about the Worker Rights Project and discuss ways LEP can help you bring this important information to the populations you serve.

Alison Dickson
Instructor, Labor Education Program
School of Labor and Employment Relations
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tel: (312) 996-2624
Fax: (312) 413-2997