Unpaid Wages, Wage & Hour Claims
Wage laws in Illinois are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act ("IWPCA"). Employees are entitled to compensation for all their time worked, and to such payments no less than twice per month (with few exceptions). However, there are number of nuances within the wage laws that can affect what the proper wages for a given employee may be, and how they need to be paid. Among those issues are:
- Salaried versus Hourly Employee – the law usually categorizes employees as exempt (ie. salaried, and therefore exempt from overtime pay) or non-exempt (hourly, entitled to overtime pay after a 40-hour work week). The wrong classification of an employee can result in significant penalties to an employer, including back pay, liquidated damages, fines, attorneys' fees, and costs.
- Employee versus Independent Contractor – employee rights, and employer obligations, are different from those of and to an independent contractor, depending on the classification. The distinction is critical in avoiding a dispute with an individual providing you with services, that may result in your company owing back employment taxes, interest, unemployment insurance contributions, and penalties.
Employees misclassified as independent contractors may be losing out on many rights they are entitled to as employees, including minimum wage, overtime, certain employee benefits, and the right to seek unemployment benefits if dismissed.
The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") and state revenue departments have started cracking down on companies using independent contractor designations to seemingly avoid making required employment tax contributions. We can conduct internal audits of your workforce to assess whether your company's work staff can properly be designated as salaried, and whether they can function as independent contractors or must be construed as employees.
There are also a number of other laws enforced by the Illinois Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor, that govern employers, which we have experience handling. If you believe you have been misclassified as a salaried employee or independent contractor, that your employer has violated the FLSA or IWPCA, or if your company is the subject of any such investigation or claim, or you otherwise wish to ensure that your company is in compliance, please contact us.