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Schaumburg employment lawyerConcerns over the spread of COVID caused many employers to transition to remote work. Although many workplaces are returning to a sense of normalcy, some employers are choosing to continue remote work. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Spotify have officially decided to extend work-from-home opportunities past the pandemic. Many small businesses are following suit. If you are an employer with remote workers, it is essential that you understand the possible legal implications of remote work. Issues like worker classification and overtime pay may be especially complicated when workers are working remotely. 

Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

Traditionally, most work-from-home positions were independent contractor positions. Now, more and more employees are working from home. In many businesses, employers’ needs are met by a combination of independent contractors and employees. If you choose to utilize independent contractors in your business, you must ensure that these workers meet the criteria necessary for contractor classification. Contractors must:

  • Work outside of your direct control

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Illinois employment attorney minimum wageIn the state of Illinois and throughout the United States, there are certain protections that are guaranteed to employees. Illinois has specific laws that apply to most employees regarding wages and payment. In addition, the federal government has laws that offer further protections to employees’ wages and workers’ rights to fairness in the workplace. Though not all employers are required to comply, the vast majority of employers are expected to adhere to these rules. If an employee feels as if they are not being treated fairly in regards to wages, they have the right to file a complaint with the state and/or federal government. This can spell trouble for companies, as they could face serious consequences if they are found to have knowingly violated employment laws. Here are a few Illinois wage laws that all employers should be familiar with to avoid such legal ramifications:

Minimum Wage Law

Both the state of Illinois and the federal government have laws relating to the minimum hourly wage an employee can be paid. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, Illinois has set its own minimum wage, which, as of January 1, 2020, is $9.25 for any worker who is at least 18 years old. If an employee is under the age of 18, the minimum wage is $8.00. The Illinois minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour on July 1, 2020.

Overtime Pay

Overtime hours and compensation can be a gray area for many employers and employees. Both state and federal laws specify that overtime pay is owed to any employee who works more than 40 hours in one workweek. Overtime pay must be “time-and-a-half” of the employee’s usual hourly rate. For example, if an employee’s normal hourly rate is $10.00 per hour, and they worked overtime, they would be paid $15.00 for every hour over 40 hours that they worked.

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Illinois Employment LawyerBeing a business owner can be extremely rewarding and stressful at the same time. You have the benefit of knowing you are running a successful company, but with owning a business comes numerous responsibilities. One of the things you must pay attention to when you own a business is how you keep records, specifically, your employees' records. There are numerous laws and regulations you must follow when you own a business, and there are laws about employee recordkeeping. It is important you comply with these regulations so you do not find yourself in trouble with the government.

Maintaining Personnel Files

A personnel file is one maintained for every employee’s personal information. Items that should be kept and updated in a personnel file include:

  • Employee’s name and personal information;
  • Job applications;
  • Resumes;
  • Employment offers;
  • Emergency contact forms;
  • Documents related to job performance;
  • Any warnings and formal discipline; and
  • Separate documents like exit interviews and resignation letters.

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states all employee personnel records must be kept for one year after the employee quits or is terminated.

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Schaumburg minimum wage violation attorneyJuly 24, 2018 marked the ninth anniversary since the last time the federal minimum wage rate was increased, to $7.25 per hour. Federal laws explain that no state may set minimum wages at less than this amount, but they are welcome to offer more, which Illinois does. In 2010, Illinois raised the state minimum wage to $8.25 per hour. Although there is strong support for another increase, to date, the amount has remained the same. While it seems like it should be easy to pay an employee for the amount they work, there are many complexities to this process that can result in disputes between employers and employees. Common errors include the miscalculation of overtime pay, wage shortages, and violations of minimum wage requirements.

A Complex Math

Verifying that employees are paid correctly for the time worked should be simple, but violations often occur nonetheless. Often, determining the amount of time worked is not the problem; rather, it is the minor nuances that cause violations. Consider the following examples:

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Schaumburg wage and hour dispute attorneyWage and hour disputes remain a continuous thorn in the side of many employers. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there are two methods federally approved to determine a salaried employee’s “regular rate” of overtime pay. Aside from exempt salaried employees, employers must choose to pay either a fixed or fluctuating workweek salary, with additional caveats for any hours worked over 40 hours. Employers should select their option based on the needs of the company as well as the laws in their state.

What Is the Difference?

Under the traditional fixed salary workweek method, an employee works the same amount of hours and earns the same paycheck every pay period, as well as “time-and-a-half” -- 1.5 times the normal hourly rate -- for all hours worked over 40 in the workweek. Alternatively, under the fluctuating workweek (FWW) method, an employee earns the same rate of pay regardless of hours worked.

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1051 Perimeter Drive, Suite 400
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: (847) 995-1205

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