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Payment of Wages: Illinois

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • Illinois employers must pay employees in cash or by check. Payment by direct deposit and payroll cards is permitted under certain conditions. Penalties are imposed for not paying employees as required by law. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Nonexempt employees must be paid semimonthly. Exempt employees in the executive, administrative and professional categories may be paid once a month. Commissions may be paid once a month. Paydays must occur within a certain number of days after each pay period. Each employee must be provided with an itemized statement of deductions for every pay period. Violators are subject to penalties. See Pay Frequency; Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Illinois employers must notify employees of certain wage-related information. See Employee Notification Requirements.
  • Illinois limits the types of deductions that employers may make from employees' wages. Special rules apply to certain employers doing business in the City of Chicago. Penalties are imposed for violations. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • Terminated employees must be paid on the next regularly scheduled payday. Payment must include accrued vacation time in certain circumstances. Employers may be sued by employees in a civil action if they fail to comply with the law. See Termination Pay.
  • After the death of an employee, employers must follow specific procedures in order to properly turn over any compensation owed to the deceased employee's next of kin or estate. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Employers must review their records each year to determine if they are holding any unclaimed wages of employees. Within certain time frames, annual reports and remittances must be made and affected employees must be notified. Certain employers must file reports and make remittances electronically. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.
  • Employers in Chicago that have violated any state wage payment or debt collection law may have their business license revoked and may be subject to fines. See Chicago Wage Payment Law Violations.