Illinois labor laws were made to protect workers’ rights within the state. Employees should look carefully at their individual state rights. This will tell an employee what rights they have in regards to their employment and work environment. The laws of the state outline the procedures employees can use to protect these rights.

Part-time vs. Full-time

Illinois carefully follows the American Care Act to determine what is a full-time employee and what is a part-time full time employee. So in Illinois employees that work 30 hours per week are considered full time. However, to be certain an employee should check with their HR department to confirm that they are full time or part time.

Minimum Wage

Illinois minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. During the first 90 days of a job, an employee may be paid $7.75 per hour.
For tipped employees, the minimum wage is $4.95 per hour but the employee has to earn at least $20 in tips per month.


Illinois considers any time over 40 hours per week to be overtime. Employers have to pay 1 and ½ times the regular pay rate for any hour over 40 hours per week. There are some employees that are not covered by overtime pay such as professionals, businesses with less than 4 employees, agricultural employees, computer employees, outside salesmen, and religious organization employees.

Illinois does have restrictions on mandatory overtime. If an employer has worked 48 hours that week then the employer cannot ask an employee to work any additional hours that week. If an employer has worked 12 hours in a 24-hour  period, then the employer cannot ask that employee to work anymore hours that day. Also, refusing mandatory overtime is not a reason to be fired in Illinois.

Health Benefits

Under the ACA, any employer that has more than 50 or more full-time employees must offer health insurance. This plan must cover at least 60% of typical health costs. If your company has less than 50 employees, then it is up to the company to decide whether they will provide health insurance.

It is important to note that the health insurance laws may change soon and employees should consult with a local lawyer in case of any new laws that pass.


If you have been discriminated against by an employer you can file a complaint with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Illinois Department of Human Rights. With the IDHR you have 180 to file your claim from the day you were discriminated against. You cannot be fired for filing a claim and if you are you can file a claim with the IDHR. The IDHR does not have a limit to the amount of damages you can win for a discrimination lawsuit.

Time Off

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only covers employees that are employed by companies that have 50 or more employees and conduct business in multiple states. Under FMLA an employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, medical and health benefits during that leave and the right to go back to their job when they return. FMLA applies to workers that have worked at least 1,250 hours over a 12-month period so it could possibly cover part-time employees.

Illinois also offers domestic violence leave for companies that have at least 50 employees so that an employee can take off up to 12 weeks. Illinois does not offer short-term disability leave but serious disabilities are covered under FMLA.

Where Can I Find a Lawyer to Help Me?

If you think you are not getting the basic rights and protections offered by your state’s labor laws, then contact a local Illinois labor lawyer today.