Illinois Minimum Wage Laws – 2022


Minimum wage

Illinois’ current minimum wage is $12.00. IL Statute 820-105/4

Illinois’ minimum wage will increase in subsequent years as follows:

  • January 1, 2023 – $13.00
  • January 1, 2024 – $14.00
  • January 1, 2025 – $15.00

This is according to the IL Statute 820-105/4, Illinois Department of Labor Minimum Wage

Illinois employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25. For more information, see FLSA: Minimum Wage.

Suppose an employer chooses to pay employees minimum wage. In that case, the employer must pay those employees in accordance with the minimum wage law, either federal or state, that results in the employees being paid the higher wage.

In most instances in Illinois, the Illinois minimum wages will apply as it generally guarantees a higher wage rate for employees than federal law.


Tip minimum wage

Illinois’ minimum wage for tipped employees is $7.20.

Illinois’ minimum wage for tipped employees will increase in subsequent years as follows:

  • January 1, 2023 – $7.80
  • January 1, 2024 – $8.40
  • January 1, 2025 – $9.00

Illinois Department of Labor Minimum Wage

Employers may pay the tipped minimum wage to employees in occupations where gratuities are customarily and usually received and have been recognized as part of the compensation for hiring purposes. IL Statutes 820-105/4(c) The tip minimum wage must be at least 40% of the standard minimum wage. The employee must also receive at least $20 per month in tips. IL Admin. Code 210.110

If employers decide to pay employees the tipped minimum wage, they must also ensure the employees are paid the standard minimum wage when tips received by the employees are combined with the tipped wages earned.

Employers carry the burden of establishing tipped employees received enough tips to ensure the employee was paid the standard minimum wage. IL Statutes 820-105/4(c)


Tip pooling and sharing

Illinois minimum wage law does not address tip pooling or sharing.


Subminimum wage

Employees with disabilities

Illinois minimum wage laws allow employers to pay workers with disabilities a subminimum wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage if they have received a license from the Illinois Department of Labor to do so.

The Department of Labor may approve a license for no more than one year, after which the employer must submit an application for renewal.

The subminimum wage rate set by the Department of Labor is based on the individual employee’s earning or productive capacity. IL Adm. Code 210.500


Trainees

Illinois minimum wage laws do not allow employees to pay trainees a wage rate lower than the standard minimum Illinois minimum wage laws do not allow employees to pay trainees a wage rate lower than the regular rate or standard minimum wage.


Apprentices

Adult minimum wage is different from youth minimum wage.

Illinois minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay apprentices a wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.


Learners

Illinois minimum wage laws allow employers to pay learners 18 years or age and older a subminimum wage that is not less than 70% of the standard minimum wage. IL Statutes 820-105/6(c) Learners are individuals who participate in training programs for occupations in which they are employed. The training programs must involve either formal instruction or on-the-job training and the learners must have limited responsibility and work under supervision or guidance. IL Admin. Code 210.110

An individual may only be deemed a learner and paid less than the standard minimum wage for up to six months, except when the Illinois Department of Labor determines a longer period is necessary. IL Statutes 820-105/6(d); IL Admin. Code 210.600(c) An employer must also cease paying the sub-minimum wage when the learner completes the required training. IL Statutes 820-105/6(d); IL Admin. Code 210.600(d)

Before an employer may pay learners less than the standard minimum wage, an employer must obtain a license. Employers may obtain a license by filing an application with the Illinois Department of Labor and the license, if requested, may authorize the employer to employ more than one learner in the same capacity. IL Admin. Code 210.610; IL Admin. Code 210.620

Learners may only be employed in occupations that require a sufficient degree of skill to necessitate a learning period. The training cannot be for improving manual dexterity and production speed in repetitive operations. Employers cannot displace any other workers with learners and cannot use learners to depress the wage rates or working standards for experienced workers performing similar work. IL Admin. Code 210.630



Student learners

Illinois minimum wage laws allow employers to pay student learners a subminimum wage that is not less than 70% of the standard minimum wage. Student learners are individuals who receive course credit for participating in school-approved work-study programs. IL Admin. Code 210.110; IL Admin. Code 210.640

Employers or schools must apply and receive a license from the Illinois Department of Labor before they may employ student learners. IL Admin. Code 210.640


Student workers

Illinois minimum wage laws allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage that is not less than 70% of the standard minimum wage if they qualify as student learners.


Illinois Minimum Wage Laws 2022 FAQs

Is the minimum wage rate in Illinois increasing in 2022?

As we have featured above, the people of Illinois can expect a series of minimum wage increases until 2025.

Each increase will take effect every first of January of each year. If this gradual minimum wage increase continues, Illinois will become the first state to enjoy a $15 minimum wage rate.

Chicago Illinois even experienced this increased minimum wage  for workers sooner since they got a $14 hourly minimum wage back on July 1, 2020, and subsequently, $15 back on July 1, 2021.

Their tipped workers, such as food servers, also experienced an increase of $8.40 per hour.

This isn’t the traditional practice. In the past, Illinois’ minimum wage rates are re-evaluated annually to ensure that the hourly wage rate matches the current cost of living.

This is primarily based on the Consumer Price Index (or CPI). It also seeks to prevent oppressive wage rates.

Meanwhile, other states either have their own state minimum wage or follow the federal minimum wage and provide their employees whichever rate is higher.

Is lunch time required by labor laws in Illinois?

Yes, it is. Employers must implement a 20-minute break for each 7.5-hour shift. The time required may also change according to the common practice in an industry and the length of one’s shift.

For instance, those in the hotel industry are given two 15-minute paid breaks and a 30-minute unpaid break in a single shift.

Not providing adequate paid breaks can also be counted as unpaid wages.

How can employers in Illinois better meet the rising minimum wage standard?

There are different steps that a private employer can practice to prepare for the upcoming minimum wage increases. After all, failing to comply can risk getting into more costly labor disputes.

The first step is to assess your minimum wage workers. Do you really need to employ all of them?

For instance, seasonal businesses don’t really need full-time employees during their off-peak seasons.

A private employer will probably fare better by hiring contract employees, especially during an off-peak calendar quarter.

You can also explore other employee options. For instance, it is possible to compensate workers with disabilities at wages lower than the minimum wages.

The same applies to younger employees as employers can pay a subminimum wage to learners within set periods of time set aside for adequate training.

Another efficient way is to increase your company’s productivity during the set working hours. In this way, you won’t have to worry about the rate for overtime pay anymore.

Compensation for overtime employment can really increase one’s cash outflow. Meanwhile, unpaid overtime compensation is also not an option.

Unpaid overtime compensation can lead to an employer paying costly legal damages until the amount is duly paid according to the wage claim.

Finally, learning more about minimum wage basics, preventing minimum wage complaints, and other related topics can help determine the best strategies to ensure proper employee wages.


Other State’s Minimum Wage Information

AlabamaHawaiiMassachusettsNew MexicoSouth Dakota
AlaskaIdahoMichiganNew YorkTennessee
ArizonaIllinoisMinnesotaNorth CarolinaTexas
ArkansasIndianaMississippiNorth DakotaUtah
CaliforniaIowaMissouriOhioVermont
ColoradoKansasMontanaOklahomaVirginia
ConnecticutKentuckyNebraskaOregonWashington
DelawareLouisianaNevadaPennsylvaniaWest Virginia
District of ColumbiaMaineNew HampshireRhode IslandWisconsin
FloridaMarylandNew JerseySouth CarolinaWyoming
Georgia

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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.