On July 1, 2015, the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance went into effect and raised the city’s minimum wage to $10.00. Under the ordinance, employers who elect to take a tip credit must pay their tipped employees at least $5.45 in direct wages exclusive of tips. Additional increases for tipped and non-tipped employees are set to be phased in over the next several years until the minimum wage reaches $13.00 in 2019.
July 1, 2015
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In order to be eligible for the minimum wage, an employee must spend at least two hours of work in any two-week period in the City of Chicago. Domestic employees and home health care workers are included. Any such employee not exempted by the minimum wage ordinance must receive minimum wages and overtime wages for work performed within the geographical limits of the city.
Employers that maintain a business facility within the City of Chicago or that are required to obtain a business license to operate in the City are subject to the minimum wage ordinance.
Employees may file a civil action in court against their employer for minimum and overtime wage violations of the minimum wage ordinance. In addition to unpaid minimum or overtime wages, employees may recover treble damages (three times the amount of unpaid wages) plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
Employers may also be subject to a fine of between $500 and $1,000 for each offense. Under the ordinance, each day that a violation continues will constitute a separate and distinct violation to which a separate fine will apply.
Employers are strictly prohibited from discriminating, harassing or otherwise retaliating against an employee for exercising his or her rights under the ordinance. Employees protected from retaliation include those who disclose, report, or testify about any violation of the minimum wage ordinance.
Every employer covered by the ordinance is required to post a notice advising covered employees of their current minimum wage as well as their rights under the ordinance. Each employer must post the notice in a conspicuous place at every facility within the City of Chicago where a covered employee works.
Read more about your rights under federal and Illinois wage laws. If you are concerned that your rights have been violated, we welcome you to contact our Chicago wage and hour attorneys for a free consultation.
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