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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. Pay days must occur within a certain number of days after each pay period. Different lag time rules apply to employees covered by the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. Employers subject to the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance must not delay wage payments to an employee who has not yet provided the required certification of authorized reason for leave. See Pay Frequency.
  • Each employee must be provided with an itemized statement of deductions for every pay period. Employers covered by the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance must provide employees taking leave with a notice of their rights with their first wage payment subject to the Ordinance. Under the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, an employer may provide the required notice of an employee's rights with a pay statement. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Illinois employers must notify employees of certain wage-related information. Employers covered by the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance are subject to an additional notice-posting requirement. 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 subject to the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance or the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance generally do not have to pay out accrued earned sick leave when an employee terminates employment. 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. All 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.