Illinois Payroll Laws (2024 Guide For Employers & Employees)

This article will answer the following questions about Illinois payroll laws:

  • Which employees are exempt from Illinois minimum wage?
  • What are the rules around meal breaks in Illinois?
  • How do overtime laws in Illinois work?
  • What are the time off and leave laws in Illinois?
  • What are the child labor laws in Illinois?

That’s just the start. Let’s explore the intricacies of minimum wage and employment laws in the state of Illinois.

As employment laws and payroll regulations often differ between states, these are often difficult to understand. Learning about the intricacies of Illinois payroll laws is essential for employers and employees. This can help ensure compliance and fair wages. Our guide aims to briefly dive into the complexities of Illinois labor laws, minimum wage, exemptions, and payroll regulations.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Illinois payroll laws.

Illinois Minimum Wage & Overtime Laws (How Does It Work?)

The Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) establishes the state minimum wage.

As of 2024, this is $14.00 per hour for non-tipped employees and $8.40 for tipped employees.

In Chicago and Cook County, higher minimum wage rates apply. It’s important for employers to know the applicable minimum wage rates and ensure they are paying employees correctly.

Illinois also has specific overtime laws. Under the Illinois Overtime Law (IOL), non-exempt employees must get paid at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek.

Exemptions can apply to certain professional employees and those subject to a collective bargaining agreement. Employers must ensure they are adhering to the appropriate overtime laws and properly compensating their employees for any overtime worked.

Illinois Meal Breaks & Rest Periods (How Does It Work?)

In Illinois, employers must provide their employees with meal breaks and rest periods under specific conditions. Employees who work 7.5 continuous hours or more are entitled to a meal period of at least 20 minutes. This meal period must be given no later than 5 hours after the start of the work shift.

Illinois law also requires that employees be provided with a minimum of one day of rest every calendar week. This “One Day Rest in Seven Act” (ODRISA) ensures that employees have adequate time off to rest and recover from work. When it comes to scheduling employee work hours, employers must be aware of these requirements.

Illinois Child Labor Laws (How Are Minors Protected?)

Illinois has strict child labor laws to protect minors from exploitation and to ensure their safety and well-being.

Employers must obtain work permits for minors and adhere to specific hour restrictions based on the minor’s age.

Time Off, Leave, & Employee Protections

Illinois offers various employee protections, including:

  • Sick leave
  • Vacation time
  • Bereavement leave
  • Medical leave

The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act allows employees to use their accrued sick leave to care for a family member.

Alongside this, employers must also provide unpaid leave for employees who are called to jury duty.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects employees who are absent from work due to military service.

Illinois will become one of three states to require employers to offer paid time off for any reason. This law will become effective from January 1, 2024.

Wage Payment & Deductions in Illinois

Illinois employers must pay their employees at least semi-monthly, and payday must occur within 13 days of the end of the pay period.

Employers are also required to provide employees with itemized pay statements, which must include details such as hours worked, rate of pay, and deductions.

The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) outlines the rules and regulations regarding wage deductions.

In general, employers may only make deductions from an employee’s wages with the employee’s consent and for specific purposes, such as taxes, insurance premiums, or wage deduction orders like child support payments.

Exemptions & Special Provisions in Illinois

Certain employees are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Illinois labor laws.

Employers must carefully review the specific criteria for exemptions to ensure compliance with both federal and state laws.

In some cases, employees may be covered by a collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract that provides additional protections or benefits beyond those required by law. Employers must adhere to the terms of these agreements and ensure that their practices align with the agreed-upon provisions.

Layoff, Severance Pay, & Final Compensation in Illinois

Layoff situations are difficult for both employers and employees.

In Illinois, there is no specific state law requiring employers to provide severance pay in the event of a layoff.

However, if severance pay is outlined in an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, the employer must adhere to those terms.

Upon termination, whether through layoff or any other reason, employers must provide employees with their final compensation, including any unpaid wages, overtime, and accrued vacation time.

Employers must issue final compensation by the next regularly scheduled payday or as soon as possible, depending on the circumstances surrounding the termination.

Discrimination & Harassment Protections

Illinois labor laws protect employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on factors such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, military status, and more.

Employers must ensure that they maintain a safe and inclusive work environment free from discrimination and harassment.

The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the state.

Employees who believe they have experienced discrimination or harassment can file a complaint with the IDHR or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Additional Resources on Illinois Payroll Laws

To stay up-to-date with ever-changing labor laws in the state of Illinois, employers and employees should browse through the following resources:

  1. Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL)
  2. Illinois General Assembly
  3. U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
  4. Illinois Minimum Wage and Overtime FAQ
  5. Illinois Child Labor Law FAQ

It’s important to remember that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. It is critical to consult with a labor law attorney for specific guidance related to your situation in Illinois. By staying informed, both Illinois-based employers and employees can contribute to a fair, equitable, and legally compliant work environment.

Professional Employees & Independent Contractors (How Do Labor Laws Compare?)

Understanding the distinctions between professional employees, non-professional employees, and independent contractors is important to labor laws in Illinois. As previously mentioned, certain professional employees may be exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA and Illinois labor laws.

As independent contractors are not considered employees and are therefore not covered by most labor laws. However, employers should be cautious when classifying workers as independent contractors, as misclassification can lead to significant penalties and legal consequences. To determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, employers should consult the guidelines provided by the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Reporting & Recordkeeping Requirements in Illinois

Employers in Illinois are subject to specific reporting and recordkeeping requirements under both federal and state labor laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours worked, and other relevant information for at least three years.

Similarly, the Illinois Department of Labor also mandates that employers keep payroll records for a minimum of three years.

These recordkeeping requirements are essential for ensuring compliance with labor laws, as they provide documentation in the event of an audit or investigation by the Illinois Department of Labor or the U.S. Department of Labor.

Illinois Payroll Laws (Closing Thoughts)

Having a thorough understanding of Illinois labor laws is essential for both employers and employees. If you can stay informed about current legislation, seek legal advice when necessary, and maintain open communication, this will contribute to a fair, equitable, and legally compliant work environment in the state of Illinois.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This article provides a general overview of Illinois labor laws and should not be considered as legal advice. Labor laws in any state are complex and subject to change, and specific situations may require the guidance of a qualified labor law attorney.

If you have questions or concerns about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Illinois, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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