Illinois – Minimum Wage, Overtime, Hours and Leave

Minimum Wage

Illinois’ current minimum wage is $11.00.

For more information on Illinois’s minimum wage laws, visit our Illinois Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topic covered on other pages include:


Illinois labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ time their regular rate when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt. IL Dept. of Labor FAQs. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

One Day Rest in Seven

Illinois labor laws require employers to give each employee at least 24 hours of rest in every calendar week. 820 ILCS 140/2; IL Dept. of Labor FAQs. Some exceptions apply.

An employer subject to this requirement may obtain a permit allowing employees to voluntarily work seven days in a workweek. 56 Ill. Adm. Code 220.200. An employer does not need to provide justification for the permits for the first 8 weeks of seven day work. After the 8th week, an employer needs to justify the request. IL Admin. Code 220.200.

Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Illinois may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Illinois Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Meals and Breaks

Illinois law requires employers to permit employees who are to work 7½ continuous hours or more to take a meal period of at least 20 minutes. The meal period may be unpaid and it must be given to an employee no later than 5 hours after beginning work. 820 ILCS 140/3. Moreover, an employer must permit employees to take at least a twenty (20) minute meal period for each continuous 7½ hours they work. IL Admin. Code Title 56, § 220.800 For example, if an employee is scheduled to work fifteen (15) hours in one continuous shift, the employer would be required to permit the employee to take two twenty (20) minute breaks.

Illinois does not have a law regarding breaks other than the 20-minute meal period, thus the federal standard applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. See Meal and Break Laws.

For Illinois employees under the age of 16, employers must provide a meal (lunch) period of at least 30 minutes if the employee is scheduled to work more than 5 consecutive hours. 820 ILCS 205/4.

Nursing Mother Breaks

Illinois labor laws require employers to provide employees who are nursing mothers with reasonable breaks times to express breast milk up until the child is one year old unless:

  • the employer has fewer than five (5) employees and
  • doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer

Employers may request that employees express breast milk at times that are concurrent with other breaks already provided by the employers. However, employers must pay employees for nursing mother breaks.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide nursing mother employees with locations in close proximity to their work area to express breast milk in private. Toilet stalls do not meet the minimum standards for the nursing mothers location.

820 ILCS 260

Whether an employer will suffer an undue hardship depends on:

  • the nature and cost of allowing nursing mother breaks;
  • the overall financial resources of the operation involved, the number of persons employed by the operation, the effect on expenses and resources, or the impact otherwise on the operation;
  • the overall financial resources of the employer, the overall size of the business of the employer with respect to the number of its employees, and the number, type, and location of its facilities; and
  • the type of operation or operations of the employer, including the composition, structure, and functions of the workforce of the employer, the geographic separateness, administrative, or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the employer.

The employer has the burden of proving the undue hardship.

775 ILCS 5/2-102(J)

Vacation Leave

Information about Illinois vacation leave laws may now be found on our Illinois Leave Laws page.

Sick Leave

Information about Illinois sick leave laws may now be found on our Illinois Leave Laws page.

Holiday Leave

Information about Illinois holiday leave laws may now be found on our Illinois Leave Laws page.

Jury Duty Leave

Information about Illinois jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Illinois Leave Laws page.

Voting Leave

Information about Illinois voting leave laws may now be found on our Illinois Leave Laws page.

Severance Pay

Illinois labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Under certain circumstances, Illinois residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Illinois State Unemployment Benefits.

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