The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act requires employers to pay most employees the wages they have earned on a semi-monthly basis. One exception is executive, administrative and professional employees, who are only required to be paid once a month. Commissions earned by salespersons are only required to be paid once a month. Also, if the employer and employee are subject to a valid collective bargaining agreement which provides for a different arrangement for the payment of wages, the collective bargaining agreement controls.
Wages are defined as “any compensation owed an employee by an employer pursuant to an employment contract or agreement between the 2 parties, whether the amount is determined on a time, task, piece, or any other basis of calculation.”
All wages earned by any employee during any semi-monthly pay period are required to be paid within 13 days after the end of that pay period. If the agreement between the employer and employee requires wages to be paid on a weekly basis, all wages earned during any weekly pay period are required to be paid within 7 days after the end of that pay period. If the employee is paid on a daily basis, all wages earned during any given day should, if possible, be paid at the end of the day the work was performed. If this is not possible, the wages are required to be paid no later than 24 hours after the day on which the wages were earned. Wages of executive, administrative and professional employees must be paid within 21 days after the end of the pay period in which they are earned.
The final compensation of any employee is required to be paid, if possible, at the time of separation. In no case shall the final compensation of any employee be held longer than the next regularly scheduled pay day for the employee. If the agreement between the employer and employee provides for paid vacation and the employee resigns or is terminated without having taken all accrued vacation, the monetary equivalent of all accrued vacation shall be paid as part of the employee’s final compensation at the employee’s final rate of pay. No employment contract, agreement or policy shall provide for forfeiture of accrued vacation.
Employers are prohibited from making deductions from an employee’s final compensation except in certain circumstances, including: (1) the deduction is required by law; (2) the deduction is for the benefit of the employee; (3) the deduction is required by a valid wage assignment or wage deduction order; or (4) the deduction is made with the express written and voluntary consent of the employee. There are also other circumstances for municipal employees.
If there is a dispute between the employer and employee concerning wages earned, the employer is required to pay the employee without condition and within the required time period all wages that are not in dispute, leaving to the employee all remedies to collect the balance the employee claims are due. The employee’s acceptance of partial compensation does not constitute a release or act as a waiver to any claim the employee may have for the balance of the wages the employee believes are due.