The Illinois Department of Labor will resume hearings by telephone on Monday, April 13th. Parties to the hearings will be notified by IDOL -
***IDOL WILL CONTINUE TO ENFORCE ALL LABOR LAWS DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS***
Illinois Department of Labor FAQs Regarding COVID-19.
Questions from Employees
If I don't go to work because I may be sick or have been confirmed with the virus can I get paid?
If the employer has an established paid sick leave policy for its employees, or the employer is subject to requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) on April 1st, employees should be allowed to utilize the sick leave. Please note, some employers can make special accommodations as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Employees should first check with their management on any special guidance and policies associated with the COVID-19 response.
The employee's ability to use a paid sick benefits may be subject to employment status. For example, independent contractors, temporary workers contractual employees may not be offered benefits associated with that employer.
What if I'm laid off because of COVID-19, do I still have a right to be paid for the time I am not working
No. However, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. For unemployment benefits questions, please contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security at 1-800-244-5631 or online at
If I must take care of a family member, can I still be paid?
Employees can utilize paid sick leave to care for their family members in accordance with the employer policies. The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act requires employers, who provide such a policy, to allow employees to use at least a portion of the sick leave time that is already available to them under certain existing employer policies to care for certain relatives. Under the FFCRA, some employers are required to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
I was directed to work more than 7 days and do not want to work. Can I decline or file a complaint if I am forced to work?
Yes, you can decline the opportunity. An employee must volunteer for additional hours that would require he or she work 7 days or more. The One Day Rest in Seven Act provides for employees to receive a minimum of twenty four hours of rest in each calendar week and a meal period of 20 minutes for every 7.5 hour shift beginning no later than 5 hours after the start of the shift. The law allows employers to secure permits from the Department to work employees the 7th day provided that the employees have voluntarily elected to work. You may file a complaint here:
My employer has not paid me on my regular scheduled pay date, what can I do?
The wages are to be paid no later than 13 days after the end of the pay period in which the wages were earned. Wages of executive, administrative and professional employees as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act, may be paid once per month. Also, commissions may be paid once per month. To file a claim for unpaid wages, please go to:
My employment has just been terminated. Am I still entitled to get paid for the vacation benefits that I earned but did not use?
Yes, generally if you have vacation time that was earned but not used prior to your termination, your employer would be required to pay you for those hours. If your employer has not paid you your earned but unused vacation time, you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor. Employees should check their benefit policies for use or lose guidelines and notification from your employer to utilize those benefits as that my impact your ability to recovery.
Am I entitled to severance pay upon termination of employment?
Only if there is an agreement between employee and employer providing for the payment of severance pay and the conditions have been met. If the employer has violated such an agreement, you may file a claim for severance pay at:
Where can I report employers that I believe have unsafe conditions due to COVID-19?
If you believe your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, you may file a complaint with Federal OSHA or Illinois OSHA.
Please file a complaint with
FEDERAL OSHA if you work for a private sector employer (example: gas stations, manufacturer, retail business establishment, restaurant, etc.).
Private Sector Complaint Form
Please file a complaint with
ILLINOIS OSHA if you work for a state and local government employer (example: public works departments, police and fire departments, State of Illinois offices and agencies).
State and Local Government Complaint Form
What are my employee rights if my employer has not closed due to COVID-19?
Illinois is an "employment at-will" state, meaning that an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without any reason or cause. The employer, however, cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, physical or mental handicap, military service or unfavorable military discharge. If you wish to locate additional information regarding this, visit the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
In this particular situation, staying home over concern about COVID-19, an employee may be able to use sick leave or vacation time to be away from work. However, the employee would need to consult with the employer for approval of such leave time.
If an employee exhausts sick leave, can other paid leave be used?
Yes. If an employee does not qualify to use paid sick leave, or has exhausted sick leave, other leave may be available. If there is a vacation or paid time off policy, an employee may choose to take such leave and be compensated. However, such use is permissible only if the vacation or paid time off policy allows for leave in this circumstance and the employer grants the use.
What options do I have if my child's school or day care closes for reasons related to COVID-19?
Employees should discuss their options with their employers. However, under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work due because the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.
Can an employer require a worker to provide information about recent travel to countries considered to be high-risk for exposure to the coronavirus?
Yes. Employers can request that employees inform them if they are planning or have traveled to
countries considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be high-risk areas for exposure to the coronavirus. However, employees have a right to medical privacy, so the employer cannot inquire into areas of medical privacy.
Is an employee entitled to compensation for reporting to work and being sent home?
Generally, if an employee reports for their regularly scheduled shift but is required to work fewer hours or is sent home, the employee must only be compensated for the hours actually worked.
However, if the employee is a temporary worker, the employee would be entitled to four hours of pay if contracted to work but not utilized for work by the employer.
What protections does an employee have if they suffer retaliation for using their paid sick leave?
The law prohibits retaliation against an employee who uses personal sick leave benefits to care for a relative as described above. Furthermore, an employer may not discriminate against an employee for filing a complaint alleging a violation of the Act with the Department of Labor. If the employer is subject to the FFCRA and denies paid leave, the employee may contact 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243). USDOL Wage & Hour Division is responsible for administering and enforcing the FFCRA provisions.
Questions from Employers
Our company has to shut down operations as a result of a confirmed case, do I still have to pay employees, even if they are not reporting to work?
Employees must be compensated for all hours worked in accordance with all Illinois wage laws.
Our company needs employees to work beyond full week, how can I get a permit so workers may continue to work to meet the demands of the company?
First, the employees must volunteer to work. The Department enforces and reviews permit applications for the employment of persons pursuant to the One Day Rest in Seven Act (ODRISA).
The law ensures that employees work for no more than 7 (seven) days a week for more than 8 (eight) weeks in any one year.
During this unprecedented time, employers may file a permit application and should specify the number of employees per location with an explanation of the need for personnel along with their permit applications. The Department will consider the permit application approved upon receipt.
If the Illinois Department of Labor has concerns with your permit, we will call and ask for the applicant to address any concerns. Under the act, the term "week" means seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods starting at 12:01 AM Sunday morning and ending at midnight of the following Saturday night. A permit application must be received by the Director not later than the Friday preceding the first effective day of the permit.
To apply for a permit, please go to
Please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and permit inquiries.
What can I do to protect my workers from COVID-19?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance for Business and Employers includes basic precautions like proper handwashing and cleaning, as well as making sure your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.
What can I do if I have to shut down my business permanently?
If you are facing potential layoffs or plant closures, Illinois employment laws still apply. Employees must still be paid for all hours worked and any earned but unused vacation must be paid out. Your employees can file for unemployment benefits.
What if I have to let go of some of my workers temporarily until business improves?
Your employees can
file for unemployment benefits as long as they are unemployed and otherwise eligible.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION
The Illinois Department of Public Health, local health departments, and public health partners throughout Illinois, and federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus called COVID-19 that was first identified in December 2019 during an outbreak in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, including the United States and Illinois. The World Health Organization announced March 11, 2020 that the spread of coronavirus qualifies as a global pandemic.
In addition, Gov. JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation March 9, 2020 regarding COVID-19 that gives the state access to federal and state resources to combat the spread of this newly emerged virus.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as needed at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus and on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.
Break the Germ Cycle - English: https://vimeo.com/397526386/23f114c27b
Break the Germ Cycle - Espanol: https://vimeo.com/397527328/acdb0d00d3
Washing Hands: https://vimeo.com/397555897/8d21b309fa
Social Distancing: https://vimeo.com/397555880/f803bd73af
Covid-19 Workplace Health and Safety Guidance for State and Local Government Employees
ILLINOIS MINIMUM WAGE
Youths (under 18) (working less than 650 hours per calendar year)|
Minimum Wage Frequently Asked Questions
IDOL Minimum wage increase press release.docx
SR 259 DBE Taskforce
New Law Prohibits Employers from Asking for Wage History
A new law that amends the Illinois Equal Pay Act banning employers and employment agencies from asking about applicants’ past wage and compensation histories takes effect on September 29, 2019. Employers can be penalized for asking the applicant or the applicant’s current or former employers for wage or salary history.
More information is available at:
The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) launched an online wage claim application to modernize the wage claim process. The online complaint process guides claimants through the steps to submit a complete and accurate claim. It also allows claimants to log-in and check the status of their wage claim at their convenience. In order to access the system, claimants will first need to create an Illinois Public ID account.
Click here to create Illinois Public ID. The online wage claim form can be found at: Online Form To report any difficulties submitting a wage claim online form, please contact IDOL at 312-793-2800 or via e-mail at
Scheduled Hearings/Audiencias Programadas
Please find all Wage Payment and Collection Act Hearings scheduled by the Illinois Department of Labor here. Encuentre audiencias programadas con el Departamento de Trabajo de Illinois sobre la Acta de Colección y Pago de Salario aquí.
Filing A Wage Claim
Can I file a Wage Claim?
How long do I have to file a claim? What documentation do I need?
Find out these answers and more in our FAQ.
I Filed A Wage Claim, What Do I Do Next?
How long does the process take? I have more information to provide the Department, what do I do? Is there a fax/emaill address?
How Does The Hearings Process Work?
Have a hearing coming up, but don't know what to bring? Will you require special assistance due to an impairment? How long will it take to receive a hearing judgement?
What does an employer have to do after receipt of a Notice of Wage Claim?
Conciliation and Mediation
Illinois Prevailing Wage Portal
Illinois Prevailing Wage Rates
Women and Minority Apprenticeship Survey
Section 9 Hearings
Where can I find the hearing notices/order for Prevailing Wage Section 9 hearings?
Annual ECA Report Submissions
Any contractor who has construction services performed for it by an individual, sole proprietorship or partnership that is not an employee of the contractor must file a report by April 30, 2020 with the Department of Labor.
Illinois Minimum Wage
What is the current/historical minimum wage in Illinois? What is the minimum they can pay a non-tipped employee? How much do you have to pay a 16-year-old tipped employee?
Is it a violation of the Wage Payment and Collection Act to offer an employee the choice of payment of wages through a payroll card or direct deposit without the option of a check? Can they pay me in cash? What about Direct Deposit?
Which complaints can I file with the Department of Labor? ¿Qué tipo de reclamos atiende el Departamento de Trabajo? Jakie skargi można złożyć w Departamencie Pracy?