Fighting For Workers In Pay Disputes Since 1987

How can undocumented workers handle pay disputes in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Wage & Hour Laws

In Illinois, as in other states, the workforce is a diverse group that includes both documented and undocumented workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that undocumented workers make up nearly 25% of the immigrant workforce. No matter their immigration status, all workers have rights, including the right to receive fair compensation for the work they perform.

For undocumented workers, navigating the system to resolve a pay dispute can feel intimidating due to fear of retaliation or deportation. Knowing the resources and steps available to you can help in taking action to resolve such disputes without jeopardizing your position or safety.

Know your rights

In Illinois, the Minimum Wage Law and the Wage Payment and Collection Act protect workers. These laws ensure that workers receive their earned wages and cover all employees, regardless of immigration status.

Document your work

Keep detailed records of the hours you work including start and end times, the tasks you perform and any agreed-upon wage rate as well as the amount of pay you receive. This documentation will serve as evidence if you need to prove a pay discrepancy.

Report to the appropriate agency

In Illinois, the Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing wage laws. If you have a pay dispute, you can file a complaint with this agency. They have the authority to investigate wage claims and recover unpaid wages on behalf of workers. Remember that the law prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who file a complaint.

Seek community assistance

There are many nonprofit organizations that offer help to undocumented workers facing pay disputes. These organizations can guide you through the process of filing a complaint, understanding your rights and taking additional action if necessary.

Negotiate with your employer

If you feel safe doing so, consider discussing the pay dispute directly with your employer. Sometimes misunderstandings or clerical errors cause pay discrepancies. A calm and straightforward conversation may resolve the issue without further action.

Illinois law makes it clear: All workers deserve to receive their earned wages, regardless of their immigration status. If you, as an undocumented worker, are not receiving the wages owed to you, you have the right to take steps to address and resolve pay disputes.