Illinois Lawyers For Unpaid Wages & Benefits For Employees
There are strict Federal and state laws that regulate the wage and hours that employees need to be paid. Unfortunately, many employers choose to ignore these laws to save money on their payroll to their employees. Some may blatantly not pay minimum wage or refuse to pay all the time for hours worked. However, many times the employer may hide their actions in payroll deductions and even by giving false promotions. Employees should know their rights when it comes to wage and hour laws.
Minimum Wage Laws For Illinois Workers
The Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25, however, in Illinois the state minimum wage is $8.25 for most employees of businesses that have four or more employees that are not family members (tipped employees and younger age workers may not qualify). According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employee is entitled to the higher rate between the two. Some ways that employers try to get around paying their employees this rate are:
Having salaried employees. Some employers may pay an employee a salary instead of an hourly wage. While this is perfectly legal, it must still average to above minimum wage when the amount of hours worked is divided into the salary paid. Giving an employee a “promotion” in only title and paying them a salary to avoid minimum wage is a way employers cheat their employees.
Piece rates. Another way to employees is called a piece rate, or a certain amount per piece of work performed. Once again, the total amount paid when divided by the hours worked must still be at least minimum wage.
Mislabeling employees. Some workers are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as independent contractors, outside sales people and certain students or trainees. However these exemptions are has strict definitions and if an employer labels an employee under one of these titles to avoid paying the minimum wage, it is against the law.
Hour Laws: When Employers Must Start Paying Overtime
Another way that employers try to cheat employees from the wages they are entitled to by law is to not pay for all the hours worked or to pay overtime wages. Having employees perform work while “not on the clock” is a common way for employers to steal from their employees. Here are some ways that employers break the law on paying employees for all the hours they have worked:
Working through meal breaks. Illinois requires that employees receive at least a 20 minute unpaid meal-break if they work at least 7 ½ consecutive hours. Employers that deduct for this time yet requires employees to continue to work are breaking the law.
Work performed outside of shift. If an employer requires an employee to perform work before or after their shift yet does not pay them for it is breaking the law.
Overtime. In Illinois, most hourly employees are required to receive 1 ½ times their regular wage for any time worked beyond 40 hours a week. Employers that do not pay the increased wage or try moving hours to another pay week to avoid paying overtime are breaking the law.
You work hard for your money and you deserve to get paid fairly by your employer. If you believe your employer has broken the law and has unfairly compensated you for time worked, let us handle your case. We are experienced in Federal and Illinois wage and hour laws pertaining to employees and are ready to fight for the money you earned. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss your case. Call and schedule your appointment today!
Resources for Illinois employees: