The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is a state agency which, among other things, investigates wage claims. An employee who failed to receive proper pay for the hours they worked may make a report to the IDOL, who will then investigate the claim and issue a finding. Unfortunately, IDOL has been having trouble keeping up with the complaints that are coming in. According to an investigation by NBC Chicago, the IDOL has just a 32% success rate in recovering wages owed to employees, that too, after months of waiting for most employees.
Although the prospect of collecting owed wages through the IDOL appears grim, employees do have other options. Employees may retain a knowledgeable attorney to assist them in filing suit against their employer to collect compensation owed. What’s more, is employees may also recover their attorneys’ fees and costs to file suit. Claims for wages most commonly fall under the he Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (“IMWL”) or the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”), which all provide that a successful employee may also be awarded their attorneys’ fees and costs, in addition to the compensation owed and applicable penalties.
If you believe you employer has not paid you what you are owed, speak to a knowledgeable attorney to better understand your rights and options.