What happens if an employer doesn't pay an employee in Illinois?

Penalties for an Employer Failing to Pay an Employee in Illinois

Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
July 31, 2019

In Illinois, when an employee is terminated, the employer is required to make full payment of all amounts due to the employee at the next scheduled payroll.  This may include compensation for unused vacation days, but typically does not include compensation for unused sick days or holidays (unless otherwise contracted).  

If the employer fails to timely pay the full amount due to the employee, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act provides that the employee is entitled to recover:

  • The full amount of pay due and owing; 
  • Attorney fees and court costs expended in collecting such amount; and 
  • A penalty equaling 2% of the unpaid wages for each month that the wages remain unpaid.  

You can find an excellent FAQ regarding the Wage Payment and Collection Act here, at the Illinois Department of Labor's website.

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