– Robert F.
In Illinois, both federal and state wage and hour laws set minimum standards for employee compensation, hours, and benefits. This complex set of laws establishes minimum wage and overtime requirements that employers must follow. However, employers often fail to pay the required minimum wage, despite the law. If your employer has failed to pay you the statutory minimum wage, contact an Illinois minimum wage attorney at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew, & Apicella right away.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) sets many of the wage and hour requirements that exist in Illinois. In addition, the Illinois Minimum Wage Act established standards that are even more stringent than the federal law. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and the Illinois minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. Thus, any Illinois employee who works 40 hours in a single week must be paid at least $330 for the week.
This requirement applies to most employees in the state, other than federal employees, and includes salaried employees as well as those who are paid by the hour. The employer must provide the pay “free and clear,” and cannot deduct expenses from the wages to cover equipment or other items that primarily benefit the employer. Tipped employees can be paid lower wages if their tips are enough to make up the difference between the pay that they earn and the statutory minimum wage.
Whether or not the failure of an employer to pay the statutory minimum wage is inadvertent or intentional, the employer is liable for violations of the law. If your employer has failed to pay you wages that meet the statutory minimum, you could file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages in an amount equal to twice your lost wages. You could also seek an injunction ordering your employer to pay back wages. If you prevail in your claim, you could receive double the amount of your back pay as compensation and damages.
If you discover that you have been unlawfully denied minimum wage pay, you must act quickly. Claims for unpaid wages under the Illinois Minimum Wage Act must be filed within two years for most claims, and within three years for claims that allege a willful failure to pay. Both the FLSA and the Illinois wage and hour laws prohibit retaliation against employees who report unlawful pay practices.
If your employer has failed to pay you wages that meet the statutory minimum, it is important that you consult with a lawyer right away. Contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella today to speak to an experienced minimum wage attorney. Your DGGA lawyer will fight to recover unpaid wages and any additional damages that are due to you. We have offices in Chicago and Cook County, and we serve clients throughout the greater Chicagoland area including Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Des Plaines, Schaumburg, and Wheeling.