An employer’s refusal to pay wages to an employee for time that the employee has already worked for the employer is inexcusable - and I get a particular satisfaction in pressing forward to successfully get those wages for my clients.
Wage claims can include not just claims for regular wages, but can also include claims for overtime pay as well as claims that an employer has paid the employee below the minimum wage rate.
Overtime calculations are generally based on an employee’s regular payrate, where the employee’s regular payrate is less than the minimum wage, then the legal minimum wage rate is used towards calculating the one and on-half rate of pay. In this regards, the minimum wage in Illinois is currently $8.25 per hour for those individuals who are 18 years and older (those individuals under 18 years of age may be paid at the rate of $7.75 per hour).
An employer’s failure to pay wages due the employee can result in an employer being liable for not just the past due wages, but also liable for interest and penalties (for overtime and minimum wage claims) as well as liable for the employee’s reasonable attorney fees (for not just overtime and minimum wage claims but also for failure to pay regular non-overtime and non-minimum wage claims). This gives the employee much more leverage to receive the wages due him or her - and frequently I have been able to obtain such wages for the employee quickly through a particular wage demand letter that I prepare and send out, without even needing to file a lawsuit or administrative claim.Illegal Deductions From Wages
Some employers attempt to take wage deductions unilaterally, without an employee’s voluntary and signed consent at the time of the deduction (which is a strict statutory requirements that protect the Employee), which wage deductions are is also illegal (even if the Employee is/ was aware of this taking during the Employee’s employment, and even if the Employee did not verbally or otherwise object to these deductions during the Employee’s employment), and which is an issue that I can likewise address.Illegal Termination in Retaliation for Making an Internal or External Claim for Wages
While the typical/ “classic” retaliation claim involves a situation where an Employer terminates an Employee in retaliation for claiming discrimination, there are also other types of protected complaints - one of which involves a situation where an Employee internally or externally makes a claim for wages that he or she is owed. For example, in Parise v. Integrated Shipping Solutions (NDIL 2017) the Employee claimed that he was terminated in retaliation for his having internally claimed to his Employer that he not been paid in accordance with his written employment contract. The Court (U.S.D.J. Joan H. Lefkow), in denying the Employer’s motion for summary judgment, found that the Employee had stated a valid retaliatory discharge claim under the Illinois Wage Payment & Collection Act.
- Is your employer refusing to pay you wages that you are owed?
- Is your employer taking deductions from your wages without your voluntary and signed consent at the time that the deductions are made?
- Were you terminated from your employment in retaliation for you having claimed (internally or externally) that you were not being paid agreed-upon wages?
If you believe that you are owed wages from your employer, or believe that your Employer retaliated against you for your internal or external wage claim, then call me to briefly discuss if it makes sense for you to come in for an appointment to my Chicago loop office to further discuss your employment situation.