Illinois employers face a new wage-payment law that significantly increases penalties for employers that fail to pay their workers properly.
The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act allows employees who believe they have been stiffed by their employers to file class-action lawsuits and gives sweeping powers to the Illinois Department of Labor to prosecute employers. Employers found to have illegally failed to pay proper wages must make good on their obligations, plus pay a $250 administrative fee. If they don’t pay back wages within 15 days, they face a 20% penalty payable to the state and a 1% per day fee payable to the employee.
Employers convicted of willfully refusing to pay wages face criminal misdemeanor charges; fines and jail sentences escalate with the amount in question. Employers convicted twice within two years could be brought up on felony charges.