Employees have some basic responsibilities to their employers such as reporting to work on time, performing their jobs appropriately and conducting themselves in appropriate manners. At the same time, employers in Illinois have responsibilities to their employees.
Many employment laws in the state of Illinois are set up to help monitor business operations and protect employees’ rights. One of these laws is called the Wage Payment and Collection Act. Its purpose is essentially to oversee employee compensation and provide assistance to collect such compensation when it is not forthcoming from employers.
The Illinois General Assembly provides some basics about the wage law and notes that any form of compensation is considered part of an employee’s wages for the purpose of the law. This includes basic hourly wages, salaries, holiday pay, vacation and sick pay, and bonuses and commissions.
Wages are to be paid at least twice a month for most employees, although those in administrative, executive or professional positions can be paid once a month as can commissions. People in some jobs can request weekly pay as well. All wages are to be paid within 13 days after the end of a designated pay period and when an employee leaves a job for whatever reason, all final wages are to be paid in the next normal pay period. Any deviation from these and other provisions of the legislation is a violation of the law.
When an earning dispute occurs, employees can look to the state for assistance. If an employer has been deemed in violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the company will be required to pay any back wages due. In addition, penalties can be assessed. According to the Illinois Department of Labor, some of the penalties for breaking this employment law include:
- Fines up to two percent of the amount of underpayment, payable to the employee.
- Administrative fees payable to the state between $250 and $1,000.
- Additional penalties of 20 percent of the underpayment payable to the state and one percent of the underpayment per day payable to the employee in cases of non-compliance.
It is also important to note that officers of a company can be held personally liable in cases involving unfair compensatory practices if they are found to have knowingly been involved in the wrongdoing.
The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act applies to all private businesses, local government offices and schools. State and federal offices are not governed by this law.