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Illinois Overtime Laws

Illinois Overtime Laws


As an employee in Illinois, it is important to know the overtime laws to ensure that you are not underpaid for the hours you work beyond 40 hours in a week. Illinois is one of the states that have adopted the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) with a few modifications. This article will delve into the Illinois overtime laws to help employees understand their rights and obligations regarding overtime.

What is Overtime?

Overtime refers to the extra time worked by an employee beyond the regular working hours. In Illinois, the regular working hours are 40 hours per week. Any time worked beyond that is considered overtime. Employees who work overtime are entitled to receive additional pay, which is calculated as one and a half times their regular rate of pay.

Which Employees are Covered by Illinois Overtime Laws?

All employees in Illinois, except those exempted by the FLSA, are covered by the state overtime laws. The FLSA exempted employees include executive, administrative, and professional personnel, outside sales representatives, and certain skilled computer professionals. These employees are categorised as exempt employees and are not entitled to overtime pay.

How is Overtime Calculated in Illinois?

Overtime is calculated at the rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. For example, if an employee’s hourly rate is $20, the overtime rate is $30 per hour. The regular rate of pay is calculated by dividing the employee’s total pay for the week by the total number of hours worked, including overtime hours.

Illinois Overtime Laws for Non-Exempt Employees

The Illinois overtime laws require non-exempt employees to be paid overtime for any hours worked beyond 40 hours per week. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that non-exempt employees receive overtime pay. Failure to comply with the overtime laws may result in legal action against the employer.

Illinois Overtime Laws for Exempt Employees

Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay in Illinois. However, the employer must still comply with the FLSA regulations regarding the classification of exempt employees. Misclassifying an employee as exempt when they are not may result in legal action against the employer.

Illinois Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws

Illinois minimum wage is set at $11 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The minimum wage applies to all employees in Illinois, including those who are exempt from overtime pay. Therefore, even if an employee is exempt from overtime pay, they must still receive the minimum wage.

Illinois Overtime Law for Salaried Employees

Salaried employees are not necessarily exempt from overtime pay in Illinois. To be exempt from overtime pay, a salaried employee must meet the FLSA requirements for exempt employees. These requirements include a salary threshold of $684 per week, which is equivalent to $35,568 per year. Additionally, the employee must meet the job duties test for exemption.

Illinois Overtime Law for Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are not covered by the Illinois overtime laws. However, it is important to note that misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor when they are, in fact, an employee, may result in legal action against the employer. To determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, the Illinois Department of Labor uses the ABC Test. This test examines whether the worker:

A – is free from the control and direction of the employer
B – performs work that is outside the usual course of the employer’s business
C – is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or profession

If the worker does not meet all three criteria, they are classified as an employee and are entitled to overtime pay.

Illinois Overtime Law for Tipped Employees

Tipped employees in Illinois are entitled to overtime pay based on their regular rate of pay, which includes their tips. The employer must ensure that the employee’s total compensation, including tips and base pay, meets the minimum wage requirement and includes overtime pay when applicable.

Illinois Overtime Law for Nurses

Nurses in Illinois are covered by the state and federal overtime laws. However, the FLSA provides a limited exemption for certain categories of nurses. These include registered nurses primarily engaged in the practice of nursing, and certified public health nurses who are employed by a government agency. Nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists are not covered by the exemption and are entitled to overtime pay.

Enforcement of Illinois Overtime Laws

The Illinois Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing the state overtime laws. The department has the power to investigate complaints, conduct audits, and take legal action against employers who violate the overtime laws. In addition, employees who believe that their employer has violated their overtime rights may file a complaint with the department.


Understanding the Illinois overtime laws is crucial for both employees and employers. Employers must ensure that they comply with the overtime laws to avoid legal action and penalties. Employees, on the other hand, must know their rights regarding overtime pay to ensure that they are not underpaid for the hours they work beyond the regular working hours. As an employee, if you believe that your employer has violated your overtime rights, you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor and seek legal action if necessary.

Guide to Illinois Overtime Laws

Most workers in Illinois are covered by IL overtime laws and are entitled to extra compensation for working more than a full week.  If you are working in Illinois, you need to know whether your job is eligible to claim overtime pay according to Illinois overtime laws, and when an employer is required to pay.  This guide will explain the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees, and help you understand whether you are owed overtime pay.

Exemptions to IL overtime laws

Not all employees are entitled to overtime pay according to Illinois overtime laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Both the FLSA and IL overtime laws make administrative and professional employees exempt from overtime requirements, as well as employees primarily working in outside sales.  In order to be considered exempt by Illinois overtime laws, more than 80% of your working time must be spent in an administrative, professional, or outside sales role.

Employees who are entitled to overtime according to IL overtime laws cannot sign away or waive their right to overtime pay.  If your employer has refused to pay you overtime pay but you are not an exempt employee for the purposes of Illinos overtime laws, you may be entitled to back compensation.  You should consult an employment attorney if your employer may have violated Illinois overtime laws.

When Must an Employer Pay Overtime?

Any time a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a week, their employer is required to pay time and a half for their additional hours.  IL overtime laws only require overtime after an employee has worked all 40 hours in the week, not if they’ve just worked more than 8 hours in a day.

Employers are not required to pay overtime according to Illinois overtime laws for having employees work on holidays or Sundays.  However, if an employer’s contractual agreement with employees specifies additional compensation for working on a weekend or holiday, employers are legally obligated by IL overtime laws to comply with that agreement.

Common Violations of Illinois Overtime Laws

Many employers try to give employees “comp time” instead of paying overtime, allowing the employee to take hours off in the following week or pay period.  Other employers only give employees overtime if their pay exceeds 80 hours in a two-week pay period—giving none if, for instance, an employee worked 65 hours in one week and only 15 in the next.  IL overtime laws do not allow either of these situations, and both are considered serious violations of employment law.

Myths about Illinois Overtime Laws

IL overtime laws do not require employers to pay double time to any employee, regardless of hours worked.  It is also a myth that salaried employees are never allowed to collect overtime according to Illinois overtime laws.  Salaried employees who do not meet the exemption requirements are still required to be paid overtime.  Employers must give back compensation to employees who are owed overtime and have not been paid the proper amounts, so talking to an employment attorney may be useful if you suspect your employer is guilty of violating IL overtime laws.