Illinois Wage and Overtime Law

The Illinois Overtime law (called the Illinois Minimum Wage Law) mirrors the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in many ways. Just like the FLSA, the Illinois overtime law requires that non-exempt employees receive overtime pay equal to 1.5 x their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week (overtime). For more specifics about the Federal Law, please see our overtime and wages page.

The Illinois law does have some significant differences from the Federal law. Under the Illinois law any employer that has one or more gainfully employed employees is covered under the law. (The Federal Law requires that the employer have a gross income of $500,000 irrespective of the number of employees.) The Illinois law also requires a different minimum wage.

As discussed on our overtime page many employers try to avoid paying overtime by simply paying their employees a salary, even though the employees are working more than 40 hours in a week. In such cases, the employees are still entitled to overtime pay if they are non-exempt. The overtime wages are calculated by dividing the weekly salary by 40 (or a bi-monthly salary by 80) to get the regular hourly rate and then multiplying that by 1.5 to get the overtime rate.

Another difference between the Illinois law and Federal Law is the statute of limitations. The Illinois overtime law provides that overtime pay that has not been paid can still be collected up to three years from the date the pay was earned, while the Federal Overtime law is two years and up to three years if the employer was consciously and intentionally violating the overtime law.

Under the Illinois overtime law, in addition to the unpaid overtime, employees may receive 2% per month of non-payment interest as a penalty, in addition to costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.


The Illinois overtime law generally has the same major exemptions as the Federal overtime law. (An exempt employee is one who is not entitled to overtime pay because of what he does. See our overtime page for more information on Exempt v. Non-Exempt Employees.) However, in Illinois there is no highly compensated exemption (an exemption that is generally applied to an employee that makes over $100,000.00 per year).

Filing Both Illinois and Federal Law Claims

A person can file claims under both the Illinois overtime law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act at the same time. The Federal Court will simply enforce both laws including their differences. If you are looking for an overtime lawyer in Aurora or an overtime lawyer in Arlington Heights or anywhere in the Chicago area, the Federal Court house is in Chicago. For this reason, finding a Chicago Overtime Lawyer that specializes in both Federal and Illinois Law is important.

If you have been paid a salary when you should not be, if you have not been paid overtime, or have only been paid your regular wage for overtime hours, you may be entitled to more money. The overtime and wage laws are very complex, but our Illinois Overtime lawyers understand them and are prepared to handle them anywhere in the State of Illinois. Give us a call.

Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act

In addition to the Illinois Overtime Law, Illinois also includes a law that provides a number of additional protections beyond overtime for wages. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act – IWPCA for short does the following:

  • Requires non-exempt employees to be paid bi-monthly (this can be modified by agreement)
  • Requires exempt employees and commissions to be paid monthly (this can be modified by agreement)
  • Mandates a time period by which employees must be paid after the end of a pay period
  • Requires employees to receive all “final compensation” after the employee stops working. This includes:
    • Earned Bonuses
    • Earned Commissions
    • Earned (unused) vacation
    • Earned Severance (typically pursuant to an employment contract)
    • Expenses

A claim under the IWPCA is often filed concurrently with an overtime claim under Federal Law and Illinois Overtime law. However, the IWPCA is unique in one important aspect. Because it is based on a contract (an agreement to pay you a certain wage, bonus, commission, or vacation) a lawsuit under the IWPCA can filed up to five years after the violation (if there is no written agreement) or up to ten years if the contract is in writing. The IWPCA also protects you against retaliation.

The IWPCA is often used by employees that earn wages through a commission. In cases where an employer fails to pay a commission timely or after you have left, the IWPCA can be used in certain cases to recover over 10 years of unpaid commission. It also requires an employer to pay 2% for each month of non-payment.

Maduff & Maduff are employment attorneys who specialize in wage theft and overtime, as well as discrimination and civil rights cases. Contact us if you are experiencing any wage or overtime issues, or your employer has not paid you the wages you are owed including commission, bonuses, and earned vacation.