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Increased penalty seeks to deter wage and hour law violations

Despite being subjected to extensive regulations and employment laws, Illinois employers continue to take advantage of their workers in an attempt to cut costs and increase profits. Wages can go underpaid, overtime unpaid altogether, and statutorily required breaks withheld. All of these actions violate workers rights. Now the State legislature is trying to take additional steps to remedy the issue.

New penalty takes effect

On May 25th, an amendment to the Wage Payment and Collection Act went into effect that increased the penalty employers are required to pay when they have been found to violate the State’s wage and hour laws. Previously, employers were subjected to a 2% penalty of the amount of underpayment for each month following the violation. That penalty has now been increased to 5%, which is a significant increase and could leave employers on the hook for tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties.

You still need to stand up to protect your rights

While it’s hoped that this increased penalty will further deter employers from violating wage and hour laws, the truth of the matter is that some of them will continue to cut corners to save a buck. This means that you have to be proactive if you want to protect your rights as a worker and recover the compensation you deserve. This usually means taking legal action, so try to ensure that you have the evidence that you need to protect your interest. This may include gathering pay stubs, email communications, and witness accounts.

We’re here to help

We know that it can be stressful to even think about standing up to your employer. But if you’ve been wronged, then your employer needs to be held accountable. If you think that you could benefit from some assistance in achieving that outcome, then consider discussing your unique set of circumstances with a legal professional that will give you the custom-tailored representation you deserve.