Minimum Wage Attorneys in Illinois
Assisting Clients Throughout Illinois with Wage & Hour Issues
As of January 2022, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and Illinois’ minimum wage is $12 per hour. Because of the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are legally required to pay their employees the highest applicable minimum wage whether that be the minimum wage set by local, state, or federal laws. Thus, unless your local minimum wage exceeds the state, you should receive at least $12 as your hourly rate of pay. It is important to note that tipped workers can have their gratuities considered as a part of their wage, which means their hourly pay may be below $12. An employer cannot rely on gratuities to count toward minimum wage unless they provide sufficient notice to all employees.
However, despite having these laws in place, employers still commit wage violations and wage theft by underpaying their employees. If your employer is failing to pay you minimum wage, you can trust the attorneys at USA Employment Lawyers to help you understand your legal rights and pursue compensation. Our attorneys have extensive legal experience and are not afraid to think outside of the box to support your goals.
Illinois Wage Payment & Collection Act
820 ILCS 105 outlines the Minimum Wage Laws in Illinois. The Wage Payment and Collection Act also establishes how often wages must be paid and how wages should be paid, in what instances wages can be reduced or deducted, how employees’ final compensation should work, and the penalties for violating these laws are. This Act was put in place to protect workers and ensure they are fairly compensated.
Because of this Act, employers are legally required to pay their employees no less than the amount outlined in this Act. In 2022, employers must pay employees over the age of 18 no less than $12, and in each year following, under this Act, the hourly minimum wage increases by a dollar each year. Thus, by 2025, employees should anticipate receiving no less than $15 per hour.
Common Minimum Wage Law Violations
Employers can violate the minimum wage laws in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
- Paying their employees below the applicable minimum wage.
- Paying employees a fixed sum or set wages that do not equate to the minimum wage.
- Failing to pay tipped employees adequately because of tip wage violations (i.e. keeping an employee’s tips that count toward their wages, failing to run a tip pool properly, etc.).
- Failing to compensate employees for overtime.
- Docking an employee’s pay or failing to pay minimum wages if employees take a lunch break.
Filing a Minimum Wage Lawsuit in Illinois
If your employer is not paying you fair wages (i.e. the legal minimum wage), you can file a claim with the Illinois Labor Department. Claims should be made within a year of your employer violating the minimum wage laws. However, if you file a lawsuit with Illinois courts, you have three years to file a claim. Exceptions to these time limits apply in cases where the claim involves a breach of contract or a final contract. You should consult with our attorneys to get a better understanding of the details concerning your case. If you retain our team, we can work with you to help you:
- Understand your legal rights and options
- Develop a personalized case strategy (whether that involves a claim with the Labor Department, negotiations, or litigation in curt)
- Pursue compensation (i.e. back pay, interest, etc.)