By now, most Illinois employers know that the minimum wage in Illinois has gone up. Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation providing a path to an Illinois minimum wage of $15.00 by 2025.
As of July 1, 2020, Illinois’ minimum wage is $10 per hour but there are exceptions and nuances to the law and some jurisdiction have a higher minimum wage.
FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE
The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour. Illinois, as well as most states, exceed the federal minimum wage.
ILLINOIS MINIMUM WAGE
July 1, 2020, the Illinois minimum wage increased to $10.00 an hour for standard hourly employees, $6.00 for tipped employees (who make up to or more than minimum wage when tips are factored), and $8.00 for children under the age of 18 working less than 650 hours per calendar year.
Under Illinois law, if an employee's wages plus tips do not equal at least the number of hours worked times the applicable minimum wage, his or her employer must make up the difference.
This is state law, which means that no entity employing hourly workers in Illinois may go below these limits.
ILLINOIS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
The end of the analysis for employers does not end with verifying you are satisfying the Illinois Minimum Wage Act. Cook County, Chicago and various suburbs have their own Minimum Wage Acts. At last count, at least 24 Illinois cities/suburbs have minimum wage ordinances.
CHICAGO MINIMUM WAGE
Chicago has the largest concentration of businesses employing Illinois workers and incidentally the highest minimum wage in the state. Chicago’s minimum wage act depends on both the number of employees in Illinois and how many hours the specific person works in Chicago during the two week period. If you employ someone that works at least two hours over a two week period in Chicago, the minimum wage is $14.00 (if you have 21 or more employee) or $13.50 (if you have 4 to 20 employees). The minimum wage for tipped employee is $6.40.
If the employee works less than 2 hours a week in Chicago, the employer may apply the minimum wage for the locality where the employee is otherwise employed.
Under the Chicago ordinance, if an employee's wages ($6.40 an hour) plus tips do not equal at least the number of hours worked times the applicable minimum wage, his or her employer must make up the difference.
Any employee qualifies for the City minimum wage if he or she (1) works for such an employer (2) while physically present in Chicago (3) for at least two hours within any two-week period.
The ordinance covers all qualifying employees, including domestic workers, day laborers, and home health care workers.
The following workers are NOT covered by the ordinance:
- Persons under 18 years of age. State law allows employers to pay such employees an hourly wage 50 cents below the state minimum;
- Adults during the first 90 days of employment. State law allows employers to pay such employees an hourly wage 50 cents below the state minimum;
- Disabled employees for whom employers have set a state-approved lower wage rate;
- Trainees taking part in a program for no longer than six months, with state approval. State law allows employers to pay trainees an hourly wage no less than 70% of the state minimum.
- Employees working at a business with three or fewer employees, not counting the employer's parents, spouse or children. This exception does not apply to domestic workers or day laborer
COOK COUNTY MINIMUM WAGE
Cook County, which encompasses Chicago as well as several suburbs, has it owns minimum wage. Cook County’s minimum wage is $13.00.
This minimum wage applies if: (1) the employee worked for the employer in Cook County for at least two hours in any two-week period and (2) the employer has four or more employees (or you are a domestic worker) and either (i) maintains a business facility within Cook County or (ii) has a license issued by Cook County.
For tipped employees, the minimum wage is at least $5.30 an hour before tips with the tips making up at least minimum wage.
OTHER MUNICIPAILITIES WITH MINIMUM WAGE ORDINANCES.
Then there are the suburb minimum wage ordinances. The following list is a non-exhaustive list of suburbs and towns that have their own minimum wage:
- Barrington Hills - $13.00
- Berwyn- $13.00
- Countryside- $13.00
- Deerfield- $13.00
- Dolton- $13.00
- Evanston- $13.00
- Glencoe- $13.00
- Kenilworth- $13.00
- McCook- $13.00
- Northfield- $13.00
- Oak Park- $13.00
- Oak Brook- $13.00
- Phoenix- $13.00
- Skokie- $13.00
- University Park- $13.00
- Western Springs- $13.00
- Wilmette- $13.00
- Winnetka- $13.00
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
If you employ employees working in different towns and counties, you will first have to make sure you pay, if applicable, at least the state minimum wage, then the county minimum wage and finally the town/suburb minimum wage.
You also need to pay extra close attention to those employees who float from different locations to verify you are satisfying all applicable minimum wage acts.
If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Tauras at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kristin devotes a significant portion of her practice to employment litigation.