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Illinois Wage and Hour Laws

State wage and hour laws include the minimum wage and various types of employee leave, in addition to overtime, meals, and breaks. Federal employment laws provide a baseline of protection for employees, such as the federal minimum wage and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But most states, including Illinois, provide additional protections for workers.

For example, depending on whether you're exempt or nonexempt, an Illinois employer may not require you to work more than 40 hours per week without providing premium compensation for those additional hours. Similarly, you may be entitled to a 20-minute meal break if you're working a full shift. Illinois law also requires employers to provide unpaid leave for child bereavement and other circumstances.

Learn about your wage and hour rights as an Illinois employee by reviewing the following laws and regulations.

Summary of Illinois Wage and Hour Laws

Although statutes are often written by lawyers and difficult to follow, it's important for non-attorneys to understand the law, too. That is why we've prepared the following plain language summary of Illinois wage and hour laws.

Statute Illinois Statutes: Chapter 820, Section 105/1, et seq.
Minimum Wage $8.25 / hr. (incremental increases to $15 / hr. by 2015)

Employers must pay nonexempt employees 1 and 1/2 times the regular rate of pay for every hour worked in excess of 40 per week. Exempt employees include agricultural laborers; certain government officials; bona fide executives, administrators, and certain other professionals; and others.

Meals and Breaks

Employees are entitled to a 20-minute (unpaid) meal break for every 7 and 1/2 continuous hours worked, which must be provided within the first 5 hours of the shift. Hotel cleaning staff are entitled to a 30-minute meal break for every 7 continuous hours worked.


Illinois law provides for the following types of employment leave:

  • Child Bereavement Leave - Up to 2 workweeks of unpaid bereavement leave in a 12-month period to grieve the death of a child, attend a child's funeral, or to make arrangements after a child's death.
  • Employee Sick Leave - Employee may use personal sick leave benefits for the injury or illness of a family member.
  • Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act - Employees who are victims (or whose family members are victims) of domestic violence may take up to 12 weeks (actual amount determined by employer's size) of unpaid leave to address these issues.

*The City of Chicago requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work at least 80 hours within a 120-day period (1 hour of paid sick leave is accrued for every 40 hours worked).

Severance Pay Not required
Agency Illinois Department of Labor

Note: State laws and minimum wage requirements are constantly changing, so it's important to conduct your own legal research or reach out to an attorney to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

  • Illinois Law - Information about Illinois statutes, including those pertaining to criminal, family, employment, and injury law.
  • Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.

Illinois Wage and Hour Laws: Related Resources

Get Expert Legal Help With Your Illinois Wage and Hour Concerns

Disputes involving wages or hours worked are among the most common in employment law. If you believe your employer hasn't paid you what you're owed, you've been denied a meal break, or have other concerns, it's in your best interests to act quickly. Find an experienced Illinois employment attorney today and get some peace of mind.

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