Illinois – Wage Payment Laws



Frequency of Wage Payments

An employer must pay employees all wages due at least twice per month. Wages of executive, administrative and professional employees, as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), may be paid once a month. Commission may be paid once a month. 820 ILCS 115/3

An employee employed by an employment or labor placement agency which makes daily wage payments to employees may request in writing that their wages be paid either weekly or twice per month. Employment and labor placement agencies that make daily wage payments must provide written notice to all daily wage payment employees of the right to request weekly or semi-monthly checks. The employer may provide this notice by conspicuously posting the notice at the location where the wages are received by the daily wage employees. 820 ILCS 115/3

An employer who pays wages twice per month must pay its employees within 13 days of the end of the pay period. An employer who pays wages once per week must pay employees within seven (7) days of the end of the pay period. An employer who pays wages on a daily basis must pay employees on the same day the wages are earned, insofar as possible, but no later than 24 hours after the day on which the wages were earned. An employer paying executive, administrative and professional employees monthly must pay wages with 21 calendar days after the end of the pay period.

An employer must pay any employee who is absent at the time fixed for payment, or who for any other reason is not paid at that time, within a period of five (5) days after the time fixed for payment. If the wages are not paid within five (5) days, the employer must pay the employee within five (5) days after the employee demands payment. Payment to the absent employee shall be made by mail if the employee so requests in writing. 820 ILCS 115/4


Manner of Wage Payments

An employer may pay wages by:

  • cash,
  • check, redeemable upon demand and without discount at a bank or other financial institution readily available to the employee,
  • direct deposit, so long as the employee designates the financial institution with which the wages are deposited, or
  • payroll card.

820 ILCS 115/4


Direct Deposit

An employer may pay wages by direct deposit, so long as the employee designates the financial institution with which the wages are deposited. 820 ILCS 115/4 Illinois law does not indicate whether an employer may require an employee to receive wages by direct deposit.

Payroll Card

An employer paying an employee by payroll card must meet the following requirements:

  • an employer may not require an employee to be paid by payroll card or otherwise penalize the employee for choosing not to do so
  • an employer may only initiate payment by payroll card for an employee if:
    • the employer provides the employee with a clear and conspicuous written disclosure notifying the employee that:
      • payment by payroll card is voluntary,
      • listing the other method or methods of payment offered by the employer, and
      • explaining the terms and conditions of the payroll card account option, including:
        • an itemized list of all fees that may be deducted from the employee’s payroll card account by the employer or payroll card issuer;
        • a notice that third parties may assess transaction fees in addition to the fees assessed by the employee’s payroll card issuer; and
        • an explanation of how the employee may obtain, at no cost, the employee’s net wages, check the account balance, and request to receive paper or electronic transaction histories;
      • the employer also offers the employee another permissible method or methods of payment; and
      • the employer obtains the employee’s voluntary written or electronic consent to receive the wages by payroll card.
  • the payroll card program must provide the employee with:
    • at least one (1) method of withdrawing the employee’s full net wages from the payroll card once per pay period, but not less than twice per month, at no cost to the employee, at a location readily available to the employee;
    • at the employee’s request, one (1) transaction history, which the employee may request to receive in paper or electronic form, each month that includes all deposits, withdrawals, deductions, or charges by any entity from or to the employee’s payroll card account at no cost to the employee; and
    • unlimited telephone access to obtain the payroll card account balance on the payroll card at any time without incurring a fee.
  • regarding fees and transactions:
    • an employer may not use a payroll card program that charges fees for point of sale transactions, the application, initiation, loading of wages by the employer, or participation in the payroll card program.
    • fees for account inactivity may be assessed following one (1) year of inactivity.
    • the payroll card program must offer the employee a declined transaction, at no cost to the employee, twice per month.
    • commercially reasonable fees, limited to cover the costs to process declined transactions, may be assessed on subsequent declined transactions within that particular month.
  • the payroll card or payroll card account may not be linked to any form of credit including, but not limited to, overdraft fees or overdraft service fees, a loan against future pay, or a cash advance on future pay or work not yet performed.
  • an employee paid wages by payroll card may request to be paid wages by another permissible method of payment provided by the employer. Following the request, the employer must, within two (2) pay periods, begin payment to the employee by the allowable method requested by the employee.
  • a payroll card program offered by an employer must provide the employee with protections from unauthorized use of the payroll card in accordance with State and federal law concerning electronic fund transfers.
  • the employer’s obligations regarding payroll cards will cease 60 days after the employer-employee relationship has ended and the employee has been paid the employee’s full and final wages.
  • Within 30 days of the termination of the employer-employee relationship, the employer must notify the employee that the terms and conditions of the account may change if the employee chooses to continue a relationship with the payroll card issuer.

820 ILCS 115/14.5


Payment upon Separation from Employment

Employees who are fired, discharged, terminated, or laid off

When an employee is discharged or laid off, an employer must pay the employee all wages due by the next regularly scheduled payday. The employee may request in writing that his final wages be paid by check and mailed to him or her. 820 ILCS 115/5

Employees who quit or resign

When an employee quits, an employer must pay the employee all wages due by the next regularly scheduled payday. The employee may request in writing that his final wages be paid by check and mailed to him or her. 820 ILCS 115/5

Employees who are suspended or resigns due to a labor dispute (strike)

When an employee is discharged, an employer must pay the employee all wages due by the next regularly scheduled payday. 820 ILCS 115/4


Wages in Dispute

In case of a dispute over wages between the employer and employee, the employer must timely pay, without condition, all wages or parts thereof, conceded by the employer to be due the employee, leaving to the employee all remedies to which he or she may otherwise be entitled as to any balance claimed. The acceptance by an employee of a disputed paycheck does not constitute a release of any claim. Any release or restrictive endorsement required by an employer as a condition to payment is void. 820 ILCS 115/9


Deductions from Wages

Without an employee’s express written consent given freely at the time the deduction is made, an employer may not make a deduction from an employee’s wages for:

  • cash shortages,
  • inventory shortages,
  • failure to follow proper credit card, check cashing or accounts receivable procedures,
  • cash advances that include:
    • the specific amount of the advance,
    • the repayment schedule, and
    • the method of repayment,
  • advances for unearned vacation pay,
  • tuition reimbursement,
  • training or education expenses required by the employer,
  • amounts owed by the employee that exceed 15%,
  • damaged property,
  • required uniforms,
  • necessary equipment, or
  • deposits on loaned equipment or other items.

An employer may not withdraw or deduct wages from an employee’s paycheck, unless it is:

  • required by law;
  • for the benefit of the employee;
  • in response to a valid, garnishment, wage assignment, or wage deduction order ; or
  • made with the express written consent of the employee, given freely at the time the deduction is made.

820 ILCS 115/9; IL Admin Code 300.700-930

An employer cannot withhold all or part of the final compensation due an employee while it awaits return of property in the possession of the employee, unless the employee’s express written consent is given freely at the time the deduction is made. IL Admin Code 300.830


Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment

An employer may require an employee to pay for required uniforms or necessary equipment, but it cannot deduct the cost from the employee’s paycheck without the employee’s voluntary written consent. IL Admin Code 300.840


Pre-hire Medical, Physical, or Drug Tests

An employer cannot require an employee to pay for medical examinations or the cost of any record required as a condition of employment. IL Admin Code 300.860


Notice of Wage Reduction

An employer must notify employees of any changes in their rate of pay or of the time and place of payment of wages prior to the time of change. 820 ILCS 115/10; IL Admin Code 300.630

An employee’s continued employment does not operate as a consented to a reduction of their compensation rate if the employer did not not notified the employee in writing prior to the effective date of the change. However, when the employee continues to work after being notified of a change in writing, it will be presumed that the employee has consented to the change, absent evidence to the contrary. An employer may not retroactively adversely affect the wages earned by an employee. IL Admin Code 300.630


Statement of Wages (Pay Stub)

An employer must furnish each employee with an itemized statement of deductions made from his wages for each pay period. 820 ILCS 115/10; IL Admin Code 300.630


Record Keeping Requirements

An employer must keep, for a period of not less than three years, true and accurate records of:

  • the name and address of each employee,
  • the hours worked each day in each work week by each employee,
  • the rate of pay,
  • copies of all required notices provided to the employee,
  • the amount paid each pay period to each employee, and
  • all deductions made from wages.

820 ILCS 115/10; IL Admin Code 300.630

An employer that provides paid vacation to its employees must maintain true and accurate records for a period of not less than three years of the number of vacation days earned for each year and the dates on which such vacation days were taken and paid. IL Admin Code 300.630


Notice Requirements

An employer must notify employees, at the time of hiring, of the rate of pay and of the time and place of payment. Whenever possible, such notification shall be in writing and shall be acknowledged by both parties. An employer must notify employees of any changes in their rate of pay or of the time an place of payment of wages prior to the time of change.

An employer must post and keep posted at each regular place of business in a position easily accessible to all employees one or more notices indicating the regular paydays and the place and time for payment of its employees. 820 ILCS 115/10


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