What Legal Steps Should Employees Take in Illinois for Unpaid Overtime Claims? 

What Are Illinois’ Overtime Requirements?

Illinois workers are protected by both state and federal laws. Under Illinois employment laws, Illinois employees who work more than 40 hours in any given week must receive overtime pay at a rate of time and a half for every hour over the 40-hour workweek (unless otherwise exempt from these rules).

Time and a half means you make 1.5 times your usual salary. For example, if you made $10.00 an hour, your overtime pay would be $15.00 for those overtime hours. For more complicated hourly rates, it may be necessary to pull out a calculator.

If your employer has not paid you the overtime pay you deserve, you can take legal action to seek your unpaid wages. Our law firm has years of experience in employment law across the state of Illinois. Contact our Deerfield-based law offices to schedule your initial consultation.

Are There Any Types of Employees Who Do Not Get Overtime in Illinois?

The following are exempt from Illinois overtime requirements:

  • Administrative or executive employees.
  • Agricultural employees.
  • Car salespersons.
  • Certain professionals.
  • Childcare institution employees.
  • Commissioned employees.
  • Educational employees.
  • Government employees.
  • In certain cities, radio or television station employees.
  • Individuals involved in workplace exchange agreements.
  • Mechanics.

If you are one of the above employees, you may not receive the same overtime legal protections owed to other Illinois workers. However, if you have still not received your proper unpaid wages, you may still file a wage complaint in pursuit of your unpaid salary. Our law firm would be proud to assist you.

Do You Have a Valid Unpaid Wage Claim?

A research study in 2019 suggested that approximately 13% of workers did not receive the proper overtime pay they were owed. These discrepancies in overtime work and pay are especially prevalent in lower-salaried workers. Additionally, women suffered unpaid overtime wages slightly more than their male counterparts. Illinois overtime pay requirements are dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Overtime laws are enforced by the US Department of Labor (IDOL) and Illinois employment law. If you have not received your overtime pay and have potentially been taken advantage of, you may file a wage/hour complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor. However, before you do so, it may be wise to hire an Illinois employment lawyer. Your employment law attorneys can provide valuable legal guidance and help assess the validity of your wage and hour claim.

Our law firm would be proud to lend legal assistance to you as you seek the salary you are owed. Please contact us today.

What Steps Should You Take to Recover Unpaid Overtime?

The first step in filing an unpaid wage complaint is to calculate just how much you are owed. To do so, consider the following formula: the total amount you should have received minus the amount you were actually paid shall equal the total amount owed in unpaid wages.

Remember that Illinois’ overtime requirements state that you should receive time and a half for all overtime hours worked. If you make $10.00 an hour, your overtime pay should be $15.00 an hour. But if you were paid the $10, then you must subtract that from what money you are owed. However, you may be entitled to additional financial compensation for the late payments. This is called a damages fee. With the help of employment law lawyers, you may be able to receive an extra percentage in damages for every month you were underpaid.

Before filing a complaint, consider speaking with your employer. It is possible to settle things without taking legal action in some situations. It could be that this was all just a mistake that can be easily corrected by paying you what you are owed. It is against the law for Illinois employers to retaliate against you for requesting any unpaid wages. Consider documenting the discussion with your employer, just in case things do not go well and you need to take a legal course of action.

At this point, if you haven’t already, you should speak with employment law attorneys. Our law firm has extensive experience in this practice area and would be proud to lend our legal advice and guidance to you during this challenging situation.

Next, you and your lawyer will file a complaint with the Department of Labor. When filing your complaint, be sure to include any relevant evidence that might show that you are owed unpaid wages. Evidence may include paychecks, timecards, and more. There is a time limit on how late you can file a complaint, so be sure to do so without delay.

What Are the Penalties for Unpaid Wages?

Employers may also be vulnerable to penalties for failing to pay you the overtime you deserve.

For example, you may request a penalty of 2% of your unpaid wages for every month that your wages remain unpaid. If your employer violated state or federal laws, you can request liquidated damages, which would be intended to compensate you for financial losses of an economic or non-economic nature.

Do You Have a Deadline to File Your Unpaid Overtime Wage Claim?

You must file a legal complaint with IDOL offices within one year of the original claim if you wish to have them investigate your case. If you wish to file a private lawsuit against the employer who failed to pay you adequate overtime wages, you have up to three years to sue the employer.

Act immediately by contacting our law firm for your in-depth case review.

What is the One Day Rest in Seven Act?

Illinois workers must receive at least 24 hours of rest for every seven-day work week. However, employees may volunteer to waive this requirement and work a full 7-day work week if they so choose. If the employee wishes to waive this requirement, the employer must show the Illinois Department of Labor that the employee is doing so voluntarily.

Schedule an In-Depth Consultation with an Experienced Employment Attorney

S.T. Legal Group has plentiful experience and a sterling track record lending our legal guidance to their clients with difficult employment law cases in Illinois. Led by attorney Diana Servos, our highly skilled legal team is more than qualified to assist you with the complexities of your case. Together, we confidently believe that we can help you file your claim and recover the unpaid overtime wages you are rightfully owed.

To learn more about the legal services we provide and the steps to take to recover your unpaid wages and additional compensation, please contact our Deerfield-based law office to schedule your initial consultation today. 847.654.9200.