Last year, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) made a set of important changes to the regulations it uses to govern the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Although these changes are substantive and significant, relatively little has been publicized about the changes. Employers should take note of these new employment regulations to ensure that they are in compliance with the IDOL's new positions on various items, as they can have a serious impact on business operations. The new regulations make a variety of substantive changes, some of which are specific and mechanical, while others are broad and may represent new attitudes about enforcement at the IDOL.
The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act
The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act is a state statute that governs the way that employers are required to pay wages to their employees. These sorts of requirements include things like how often employers must pay their employees, how employers should handle final payments for terminated employees, and how to handle payments for striking workers. As with many laws, they are supported by a set of regulations. Unlike laws, regulations are promulgated by the administrative agencies that are tasked with enforcing the statute. Yet, like laws, regulations still have binding impact on employers, so it is important for employers to keep abreast of changes in the regulations.
The Changed Regulations
The IDOL recently changed the regulations that accompany the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act in a variety of different ways. These are just some of the more important changes.
The new regulations include a sweeping definition of an “agreement” between employees and employers. It means “a manifestation of mutual assent on the part of two or more persons.” The definition goes on to discuss the fact that agreements are broader than contracts and things like employee handbooks and past practices can constitute agreements, even over express disclaimers in some circumstances. This means that employers may end up binding themselves to prior wage practices permanently.
The new regulations also change certain notice and recordkeeping requirements. For instance, the regulations now require employers to provide written notice of a person's wage when they are hired and whenever that rate changes, to the extent possible. Additionally, employers must now keep records of the hours all employees work per week, regardless of whether any of the employees are actually subject to overtime requirements.These are just some of the changes that the IDOL recently made to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act regulations. If you are concerned about your company's compliance or believe that your employer is violating your rights as an employee, contact an Illinois employment law attorney today. Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC serves many different clients across the northwest suburban area, including in towns like Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, and Deer Park.
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.