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If you recently left, was fired, or laid off from your job in Chicago, you have the right to receive your final paycheck in a timely manner. It is protected by Illinois’s labor law, but some employees may find themselves in the difficult situation of their employer refusing to pay their final paycheck. If that is the case, our employment lawyers can help you determine the best option to pursue regarding your possible employment compensation claim. Schedule a free consultation with a Chicago final paycheck lawyer at The Zoldan Law Group, PLLC today, through our online contact form or by calling (312) 980-9992.
Regardless of how an employee leaves a company, under Illinois Employment Statute §115/5, they are legally entitled to receive a final paycheck. It can be given on the last day of their employment, up until the next scheduled payday, but no later. Employers must also comply with a previous employee’s written request to have their final check mailed.
Additionally, an employer must pay the monetary equivalent of all the employee’s earned and unused vacation time “as part of his or her final compensation at his or her final rate of pay.” This is in accordance with state law and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA).
Employers often fail to comply with these simple legal obligations and, but you have options if you have are owed unpaid wages and if you not receive your final paycheck within the required amount of time.
If a Chicago employer is refusing to provide you with your last paycheck, then you have the option of filing a formal unpaid wage payment complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) to obtain assistance.
In some cases, it might be necessary to file a wage and hour lawsuit. The court will review your pay history, your final paycheck, and any other forms of evidence provided, to then determine an appropriate legal remedy. If, for example, your employer miscalculated your pay rate to the point that it does not equate to the minimum wage you are entitled to, they may be liable for damages. Other common issues related to your paycheck can also be resolved, such as issues with your total hours, overtime pay rate, tips, benefits, etc.
If you are successful in your claim, you may be entitled to collect penalties. Failing to provide your final paycheck, or pay the state’s minimum or overtime wage, may cost your previous employer an additional 2% of your final wages for every month you remained unpaid. When the IDOL has ordered your employer to administer your final wages, but they still fail to do so within 15 days, then you can obtain 1% of your final wages for each day that you don’t receive payment.
The court may also grant liquidated damages if there has been a violation of federal minimum wage or overtime state laws. This type of award is intended to compensate you for financial losses that are difficult to calculate. Liquidated damages can total the amount of your unpaid wages, essentially doubling the amount of compensation you’ll receive.
Contact an experienced employment law attorney at The Zoldan Law Group PLLC to learn more and receive legal advice regarding your legal rights related to final wages and paychecks. You can reach us online or by phone at (312) 980-9992.