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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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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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minimum wage, Illinois law, Illinois employment lawyerEarlier this week, protesters from as far as New York City descended upon the Oak Brook headquarters of McDonald’s pushing for increases in the wages for front-line workers. This protest is the latest in an ongoing push among fast-food workers toward raising the minimum wage and the quality of life for employees in the nation’s restaurants.

According to reports, organizers were expecting a turnout of more than 5,000 participants, many of whom currently work for the fast-food giant. Oak Brook police estimated that about 2,000 people participated in Wednesday’s demonstration that was held one day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting. A similar protest was held last year about the same time, which led to the arrest of more than 135 people for trespassing.

While McDonald’s has come under fire in recent years for its low wages and, in some cases, poor working conditions, the company has acknowledged the need for some change. New chief executive Steve Easterbrook announced last month that company-owned locations would set starting pay at $1 above local minimum wage standards beginning July 1st, 2015. By the end of next year, the company projects the average hourly rate to exceed $10 per hour.

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