Wage Theft Act

What is Illinois Wage Theft Law?

Starting Jan. 1, 2011, a repeat offense will be considered a felony. Employers who violate wage theft laws will have to pay workers back from the date of nonpayment with interest and a $250 fine. Depending on the violation, the employer may also owe interest to the Illinois Department of Labor.

It means that from now on Labor Department and not Attorney General Office will be in charge of these claims. According to the new bill “wage theft” occurs when businesses knowingly fail to pay workers earned wages or fail to pay in compliance with labor law, which includes not paying for overtime and work done off the clock.


On July 30th 2010, Gov. Quinn signed Senate Bill 3568 (Public Act 96-1407) which amends the Wage Payment and Collection Act to provide the Illinois Department of Labor with additional tools and resources to enforce the law, including enhanced penalties against employers who refuse to cooperate with the Department’s investigation and enforcement activities. The amendments that became effective on January 1, 2011 will also allow workers to take alleged violations directly to circuit court or to file class action lawsuits against employers to recover unpaid wages. For more information access Wage Payment and Collection Act Advisory or call 847.241.1299

Wage Payment and Collection Act Amendment

Civil and Criminal Penalties:

Establishes a non-waivable administrative fee of $250 to employers found liable of owing wages to an employee.

The fee is payable to the Department and to be used for enforcement activities.

Establishes a 2% penalty of the unpaid wages due to the employee for each month of the underpayment. The penalty amount is payable to the employee.

Increases the criminal penalty for repeat criminal violations from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Increases the criminal penalty for cases $5,000 or less from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class B misdemeanor.

Increases the criminal penalty for cases over $5,000 from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.

For more information call our office at 847.241.1299


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