Minimum Wage Laws

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What are the Illinois and Federal Minimum Wage Laws?

Chicago, Illinois Minimum Wage Lawyers.

Federal and state law requires employers pay certain employees the minimum wage for all time they work in individual work weeks. Many states, including Illinois, have minimum wage rates that are higher than the federal minimum wage. If you believe that you are not being paid at least the minimum wage, you should contact a minimum wage law attorney.

The current Illinois Minimum Wage is $8.25 per hour.  The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. With several exceptions, if you work in Illinois, this means an employee must be paid at least $330 for 40 hours of work, regardless if the employee is paid on an hourly or salary basis. Thus, unless an employee is exempt from the minimum wage, like an outside sales person, it is illegal for an employer to pay an employee less than $8.25 per hour (and $7.25 under federal law), regardless of how the employee is paid. Many employers try and avoid their minimum wage obligations by paying employees on a commission, flat rate or piece rate basis. Some employers fail to pay minimum wages by paying employees a “salary” by requiring the employee to work so many hours, that their effective hourly wage rate is less than $8.25 per hour.

In many states, minimum wage rates are higher than the federal $7.25 per hour federal minimum. For example, the current Illinois minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. In Illinois, it is permissible for an employer to pay an employee 50 cents less than the current applicable minimum wage during the first 90 days of his or her employment. In states where the minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage, like in Illinois, employers are required to pay employees the higher of the state or federal minimum wage.

Some employers may be exempt from paying the minimum wage under certain instances. For example, employers may use the value of lodging or meals as a credit towards the minimum wage, as long as they meet certain criteria. And as explained in Restaurant & Tipped Employees, certain employers may apply a tip credit against the minimum wage paid to tipped employees, assuming all the criteria for taking the tip credit are satisfied. Tipped employees are among the kind of employee who most frequently are not paid all their earned minimum wages in violation of state and federal law.

If you believe you are not being paid the correct, current minimum wage, are a waiter, server, or tipped employee who is being paid a tip credit rate, or you otherwise feel that your company is not paying the correct minimum wage, contact a Chicago attorney at Werman Salas P.C. We will answer your minimum wage questions and help you collect the wages that you are owed.