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Can employers dock your pay if you do not give two weeks’ notice?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Wage & Hour Laws

Based on a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 5.8 million workers in Illinois in 2022. However, the report does not show the amount of turnover that can occur each year. Resigning from a job often involves giving a two-week notice as a professional courtesy, but what happens when circumstances prevent you from following this practice?

Workers in Illinois might worry about their pay if they fail to provide this notice, but the rules surrounding this situation are clear in Illinois law.

Wage deductions

In the state of Illinois, the labor law protects workers from unauthorized deductions from their pay. Employers cannot deduct pay as a penalty for not giving two weeks’ notice prior to leaving the job. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act requires employers to pay an employee all earned wages, including any earned vacation pay, by the next regular payday after the termination. The failure of an employee to give two weeks’ notice does not allow an employer to withhold or deduct any part of the employee’s earned wages.

Illegal wage deductions

If an employer deducts an employee’s pay for not giving two weeks’ notice, the employee has the right to file a wage claim with the Illinois Department of Labor or file a lawsuit against the employer. The employer might also face penalties, including fines and even potential imprisonment.

The importance of the employment agreement

It is important to note, however, that the employment agreement between the employer and employee can make a difference. If the employment agreement clearly states that the employee agrees to give two weeks’ notice and there are financial consequences for not doing so, the employer might have a legal basis to deduct pay. However, such deductions cannot reduce an employee’s pay below minimum wage. Employers should be cautious in applying such policies to avoid making deductions illegally.

Illinois law provides strong protections to ensure employees receive the wages they have earned. Generally, the law does not allow employers to dock your pay for not giving two weeks’ notice when you leave a job.