The FLSA and Illinois Labor Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers a variety of topics related to employment compensation. The Act was established by Congress in 1938 to create a minimum wage and also limit the number of hours that can be worked in a standard workweek.
Today in Illinois, the minimum wage is $8.25 per hour for workers 18 years and older, while those under 18 can receive $7.75 an hour. More information on the minimum wage in Illinois is available at the Minimum Wage/Overtime Law page. (820 ILCS 105/4).
The typical number of hours worked in a standard week is 40, but Illinois labor law (820 ILCS 105/4a) specifies that employees who work over 40 hours (qualifying as any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours or even consecutive 24-hour periods) must be paid 1-1/2 times their regular rate of pay for all extra hours worked. This is identical to the federal FLSA, which also does not require overtime pay on weekends or holidays.
However, Illinois sets some exemptions for the overtime Illinois labor law with very specific requirements. In summary, executive, administrative and professionals who earn no less than $455 per week can be exempt under certain conditions and circumstances. The chart below, also published at Illinois.gov, details the qualifications that must be met for an employer to consider their employee exempt from the law.
Employers should keep accurate employee time and pay records to ensure they are in compliance. Non-compliant companies can face penalty payments based on a percentage of the underpayment to the employee from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). The complete penalty structure is on the IDOL website here.