Almost every employer is required to pay at least either the state or federal minimum wage.
Generally, in Illinois, you are entitled to receive at least the state minimum wage if you work for a company with more than three employees. However, there are some companies and types of jobs that are not covered by the minimum wage law.
Under federal law, an employee is entitled to receive the federal minimum wage if the employer earns more than $500,000 in a year and is connected to interstate commerce.
Am I entitled to receive the minimum wage if I earn tips?
In Illinois, employers are allowed to pay traditionally tipped jobs, like waiters, 60% of the minimum wage. This means that as of January 2018, a tipped employee can be paid $4.95 per hour. (A tipped employee in Chicago can be paid $5.95 per hour). Illinois requires employers to pay tipped employees a minimum cash wage above the minimum cash wage required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ($2.13/hour).
Am I entitled to receive the minimum wage if I earn a salary?
Yes. Even if you earn a salary, you are still entitled to receive the minimum wage. You can determine if your salary violates the minimum wage laws by dividing your salary by the number of hours that you work. The result is your average hourly rate, which must equal at least the minimum wage.
For example, if you have a salary that pays $200 per week and you work 40 hours in that week, your actual hourly rate comes to only $5 per hour ($200 / 40 hours = $5 an hour). Because this amount is less than the minimum wage, you are entitled to recover the difference that you are owed.
Can my employer pay me less than the minimum wage for training?
Yes. In Illinois, employees in training may be paid up to $.50 an hour below the minimum wage for their first 90 days.
After the first 90 days, an employee must be paid the full minimum wage.
Can my employer pay me less than the minimum wage if I have a disability?
Yes. In Illinois, employers may apply for licenses to pay less than minimum wage to certain workers with disabilities.
Does my immigration status affect my eligibility to receive minimum wage?
No. Your immigration status does not affect your ability to recover your owed minimum wages. Your employer is required to pay at least the minimum wage to all employees for all time worked, regardless of immigration status.
You and any lawyer assisting you with your case should keep your immigration status confidential and prevent your employer from raising questions about your immigration status.
What are the laws about overtime payment?
In Illinois, employers must pay overtime if an employee works more than 40 hours a week. The rate for overtime pay is time and a half of the regular pay rate.
Updated: June 2017