Top 10 Tips for Overtime Lawyers in Illinois

The following pertains only to Illinois law and was compiled from conversations we had with various labor attorneys in Illinois.

1. Check if your company pays overtime. Not all employers are required to pay overtime. Illinois employers with annual revenues of approximately $500,000 or more generally pay the fee. If your employer earns significantly less than $500,000 per year, you may not be entitled to overtime pay.

2. The same rules apply to employers of all sizes. Employers in Illinois, regardless of size, must comply with overtime laws. For example, if you own a business and are the only employee, you must be paid overtime (as long as you are not exempt). The law is not affected by the size of the employer.

3. Understand “exemption”. Some employees are exempt and not subject to OT laws. If you are exempt, you will not get extra pay when you work more than 40 hours a week.

4. Determine if you are exempt. In general, under Illinois law, highly skilled employees such as executives, managers, and professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers are exempt from OT laws. If you’re not sure, an employment attorney in Illinois can help you determine if you’re exempt.

5. Just because you’re salaried doesn’t mean you’re free. Getting a salary does not automatically make you exempt from overtime pay; the nature of your position determines whether you are entitled to overtime. Consult an employment attorney in Illinois to determine if you should receive more money, whether you are salaried or hourly.

6. Check your overtime pay dates. Payments are due on your regularly scheduled payment date. Employers generally cannot delay paying your wages.

7. Training time is important. Time you spend attending company training sessions, seminars and conferences is generally included in calculating OT unless all of the following conditions are met:
1) the training is voluntary, and
2) outside normal business hours, and
3) Not directly related to your work, and
4) You did not complete any work for your employer during your training. Again, these tips are based on Illinois law.

8. It is illegal for your employer to ask you to waive your right to overtime. Your employer cannot ask you to waive this right. Even if you do agree to sign a waiver, the agreement is not enforceable unless 1) the waiver is specifically approved by the Illinois Department of Labor, or 2) you are represented by an attorney when entering into the agreement. If you agree to a waiver and none of these situations apply, an Illinois employment attorney can help you determine if you are entitled to back wages.

9. Charge overtime. You can recover back wages earned over the past two years. If your employer willfully breaks the law (for example, by making you sign an illegal waiver of overtime rights), you may be able to recover unpaid wages for the past three years. An Illinois employment attorney can help you collect wages owed to you.

10. Get more information about the law. If you think you may have a legal problem related to overtime pay, an employment attorney in Illinois can help you determine whether to file a lawsuit against your employer. You should also read the federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act. Most of the laws apply in Illinois, but there are some differences when it comes to exempt employees.

About the author


Leave a Comment