In 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:
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 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.
There is no federal or state law that requires employees to receive pay for days that they take off or have off due to vacation, holidays, or illness. However, if an employer has entered a contract or agreement that states that an employee will be paid for holidays, vacation days, and/ or sick days, the employer must abide by the terms of the agreement.
It is extremely important for all employers to be aware of current employment laws, especially as they pertain to employees’ wages. The best way to handle wage issues is to prevent them from arising. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we can help your company stay informed about all of the state and federal laws pertaining to wages and how they can affect your business. Our knowledgeable Illinois employment lawyer can help you be proactive about complying with wage laws, and we can provide representation if an employee brings an action against you. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-995-1205.