Wage and Hour
Many employers try to take advantage of their workers. Others are ignorant of laws protecting workers’ rights to wages. If you suspect your employer is not paying you the wages required by law, contact our experienced Illinois wage and hour attorneys today.
Federal and state wage and hour laws are frequently violated by employers. Wage and hour laws are laws that set minimum standards for hours and pay and other protections for workers. This includes minimum wage, overtime, breaks, payroll reporting, and a wide variety of other requirements. These laws can be complex. Sometimes employers accidentally violate wage and hour laws, and sometimes employers try to cut corners at the expense of their workers. No matter what caused the violation, an employer is liable for its violations of these laws.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets many of the wage and hour requirements in Illinois. However, states are free to enact their own wage and hour laws, as long as they do not fall below the minimums set by FLSA. Illinois has enacted several laws that enhance the protections provided to workers, but in other areas FLSA provides the governing legal standards.
Minimum wage in Illinois as of July 1, 2010 is $8.25 per hour. All employers in Illinois, with the exception of the federal government, must this pay minimum wage. Minimum wage laws apply even if you are not paid by the hour. If you are paid by salary, by the piece, or any other method, and your pay does not meet minimum wage standards, your employer has violated the Illinois Minimum Wage Law.
Illinois also requires one day of rest out of every seven days, and requires one 20 minute meal break for every shift of 7 ½ hours or more. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act sets standards for when, where and how wages must be paid. Overtime and rest break provisions in Illinois are governed by FLSA. In any successful wage and hour suit, whether under FLSA or Illinois law, the employer must also pay your attorneys’ fees and costs.
In today’s competitive business climate, employers frequently try to take advantage of their workers in the name of profit. As a result, numerous wage and hour lawsuits are filed against employers in Illinois every month. Often, in addition to back pay, penalties can be obtained. As a result, damages in some wage and hour suits can be substantial. In other cases, damages based on a technical violation can be small. In these cases, and in many other wage and hour suits, pursuing the claims as a class action or collective action is in the employees’ best interests. Class actions can give employees leverage with their employer they would not otherwise have. However, class actions are not always the best way to proceed with a wage and hour suit.
It is difficult to bring a claim against one’s employer, especially if a long-term employment relationship is involved. You depend on your employer for many essentials in your life, and standing up for your rights requires courage. The Illinois wage and hour attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have significant experience in all areas of Illinois and federal wage and hour laws, and can provide you the advice and representation you need in order to pursue a potential wage and hour claim. If you believe your employer has violated a wage-and-hour law, contact our offices today at (312) 869-4095.