Illinois Employment Law: What are Employment Laws in Illinois?
Work days and hours in Illinois
Illinois State has defined the working days of the week as a total of 168 hours. By default, the workweek is from Sunday to Saturday. Of the seven work days, it is mandatory to provide one work day off as rest for 24 hours. Special permission can be taken if employees voluntarily are ready to work without a break.
For every seven and a half hours that an employee works, he/she has to be given a meal break for 20 minutes. It must be within 5 hours of coming to work. For employees below 16 years, the break needs to be for 30 minutes as per Illinois laws.
As per the laws, reasonable break time needs to be given for nursing mothers to breastfeed their children.
There are restrictions on the working of minors, below 16 years of age in any establishment.
Leave laws in Illinois
- Sick leave: There is no requirement in Illinois law to provide paid sick leave. Unpaid sick leave may be taken by employees as per Federal laws.
- Vacation leave: Illinois does not mandate paid or unpaid vacation benefits to be given to employees. They need to provide it only if they have committed to do so at the time of joining.
- Holiday leave: There is no provision for holiday leave in Illinois. As per local law, employees can be asked to work on holidays.
- Jury duty leave: An employer is required to allow employees to go for jury duty, but is not required to grant leave.
- Voting leave: A permission of 2 hours has to be given to employees on a voting day to allow them to vote.
Payment laws in Illinois
- The state requires that employees should be paid for all the hours they put in at work. This includes work they do at the employer's site and at other sites. It also includes meal breaks.
- Any time spent on-call away from the employer’s site needs to be also considered as work hours if it was for the benefit of the employer.
- Time for travel taken for any work for the employers benefit should also be considered in the work hours.
- Regarding meeting, training and other such activities, the law of Illinois does not mention anything and hence whatever applicable Federal rules are there needs to be followed.
- Overtime needs to be paid at one and a half times regular pay if employees have to work more than 40 hours a week.
- As per Illinois law, the minimum wage paid to employees should be $8.25 per hour.
- The minimum wage for employees who receive tips is $4.95 per hour.
- Trainees and Apprentices cannot be paid a rate lower than the minimum wage that has been fixed.
- A sub-minimum wage can, however, be paid for those employees who are disabled, for which they need to get a license of the Dept. of Labor.
- Learners can be paid up to 70% of the minimum wage. For this, a license needs to be obtained from the Dept. of Labor.
- At the time of joining, employees need to be given a wage notice with details of wages paid, time and place of payment, etc.
- Wages must be paid monthly. It must be paid by the 13th day after the end of the calendar month.
- Employees can be paid by cash, check direct deposit or payroll debit cards.
Other issues with employment laws in Illinois
- The workplace needs to be smoke-free.
- Weapons may be banned in the workplace if the signs are placed.
- Use of phones while driving is not allowed.
- Equal pay for both men and women are mandatory as per Illinois law.