Chicago Minimum Wage Lawyers

Both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) set the minimum wages for Illinois employees. Recently, the City of Chicago passed its own ordinance raising the city minimum wage above the federal and state minimum wage for Chicago workers.

What is the Federal Minimum Wage?

Under FLSA, the federal minimum wage for covered non-exempt employees is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

What is the Minimum Wage in Illinois?

Many states also have minimum wage laws. Where an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to receive the higher minimum wage rate. For example, since July 1, 2010, Illinois businesses have been required to pay a minimum wage of $8.25 under the IMWL – a full dollar higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance

On July 1, 2015, the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance went into effect raising the minimum wage for many Chicago workers to $10.00. Additional increases to the minimum wage are set to be implemented each year until the minimum wage reaches $13.00 on July 1, 2019.

Effective Date

Non-Tipped Employees

Tipped Employees

July 1, 2015



July 1, 2016



July 1, 2017



July 1, 2018



July 1, 2019



Are You Due Unpaid Minimum Wages?

If you are an employee who may not have been paid the minimum wage, contact the Nolan Law Office immediately to set up a free consultation. You may be eligible to recover your unpaid minimum wages as well as liquidated or “double” damages, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

If you are a tipped employee, see our additional information about tipped employees' rights to the minimum wage.

Common Minimum Wage Law Violations

Setting an Hourly Rate Below Applicable Minimum Wage

With federal, state, and city minimum wage laws all in effect simultaneously, some employers fail to pay their employees an hourly wage that complies with all minimum wage laws.

Paying a Fixed Sum that Fails to Equal the Minimum Wage

Employers also violate minimum wage laws by paying a fixed sum to employees that work a lot of hours and are effectively compensated below the minimum wage. By way of example, the regular hourly rate of pay for a non-exempt employee who works 70 hours per week and is being paid $500 per week is $7.14 ($500/70). Therefore, this arrangement would violate both federal, state, and city minimum wage laws. Generally, all non-exempt employees are entitled to be paid the minimum wage whether they are paid by the hour, piecemeal, flat rate, or salary.

Tip Violations and the Tip Credit

Restaurant and tipped employees are frequently deprived of minimum and overtime wages due to a number of different tip and tip credit violations. Many employers fail to pay any or sufficient direct wages under federal and state law, others improperly run a tip pool or illegally retain tips of the employees. If you are a restaurant or tipped employee, learn more about tipped employees' rights to recover minimum and overtime wages.

If you are an Illinois employee who has questions about whether your right to a minimum wage was violated, contact our Chicago employment attorneys to set up a free consultation.