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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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Overtime Pay LawyerThe Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law put in place in 1939 to protect the rights and well-being of American workers. While the act has changed since its inception 80 years ago, it still retains many of its original goals, such as the minimum wage, overtime pay requirements, record keeping, and child labor standards. The FLSA is an important part of the American workforce and protects the rights of most workers.

Are Employers Required to Pay Overtime?

According to the FLSA, if an employer permits or requires an employee to work overtime, that employer must pay the employee for those overtime hours. Overtime is defined as any hours worked after 40 hours in a single workweek. The FLSA also requires overtime pay be no less than the employee’s usual rate plus half.

For example, a retail worker normally makes $12 per hour. This week, they worked a total of 48 hours, meaning they have eight hours of overtime they must be compensated for. Their overtime rate would be $12 + $6, for a grand total of $18 for every hour worked over 40 hours in a week. This means the worker should receive a paycheck of $720, $576 for the first 40 hours worked, and $144 for the eight hours of overtime.

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Illinois business law attorneyEmployers are required to follow both local and federal employment laws, which means both should be considered when determining how to handle matters like employee benefits, pay, salary, or overtime. Specifically, there is a new federal law that employers should be aware of, particularly if they have lower salary employees. Learn more about this new law and how it could affect your business, and discover how an experienced employment law attorney can help get (or keep) your small business on track.

Low Salary Employees Now Paid Overtime

Known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the new law is supposed to address the “eroding” 40-hour workweek and the millions of employees who are not compensated for their extra time. More specifically, the new law states that salaried employees who earn $47,500 or less are to be compensated for any overtime hours that they work. In addition, the threshold is expected to raise, yet again, by January 1, 2020 (to $51,000), and increase every three years thereafter.

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