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What Types of Wage Claims Can I File With the Illinois Department of Labor?

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What Types of Wage Claims Can I File With the Illinois Department of Labor?

The Illinois Department of Labor investigates a variety of wage claims made by employees against their employer. The types of claims employees may bring to the attention of IDOL include owed wages, vacation pay, bonuses, commissions, and final compensation.

Employees thinking about these types of claims should understand there are various forms, documents, and time deadlines they must navigate in order to have a successful resolution to their case. Having an attorney from the onset of a claim can help employees give them a better chance of getting the wages they are owed and holding employers accountable for their conduct.

Time deadlines and necessary documents in Illinois wage claims

Employees making wage claims against their employer have one year from the alleged incident to file their claims, otherwise they may not have legal recourse to collect their back pay and benefits. In accordance with 56 Ill. Adm. Code. Section 300.940, IDOL will look back as far as three years from the time of the incident to investigate the allegations.

Vital documents that should be submitted with claims brought to IDOL include copies of the employee’s paychecks and/or pay stubs, W2s, 1099s, and any other financial documents related to employment and rate of pay.

Depending on the type of wage claim, employees should be prepared to produce additional documentation such as:

  • Vacation claims – Copies of employer’s vacation policy or an explanation of the policy
  • Bonus claim – Copies of the bonus agreement between the employer or an explanation of the company’s policy
  • Commission claims – Copies of the commission agreement or an explanation of the policy
  • Illegal deductions – Copies of documentation showing deductions such as pay stubs or letters stating the deduction

What happens after I file my wage claim with the IDOL

After a claim is filed, the IDOL will review the claim to ensure it is thorough and filed within the time deadlines. Once that is completed, the IDOL will contact the employer and state the amount the employee is seeking.

Employers then have the option to pay or dispute the claim. If the employer disputes the claim, the IDOL will determine if the claim warrants a hearing.

Chicago wage claim attorneys

If you believe you have been underpaid by your employer and are considering filing a claim for your back wages, contact Goldman & Ehrlich online or call 312.332.6733 for a consultation about your case. Our attorneys serve clients throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas, including in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.

New Round of Legal Proceedings in Illinois Police Whistleblower Lawsuit

Attorneys for former Decatur Police Chief Brad Sweeney said they will file a new, amended complaint against the city of Decatur after a judge overseeing the case dismissed the claim. Sweeney’s suit claims he was fired after confronting the City Manager, Tim Gleason, about the use of a police vehicle to make a private flight at a St. Louis airport in May 2015.

The plaintiff’s lawsuit alleges he was protected from termination as his raising of the issue of police vehicles for private use was covered under the Illinois Whistleblower Act. Under The Act, individuals who refuse to commit to improper actions are protected from retaliation.

Attorneys for the city asserted Sweeney was complicit in the City Manager’s use of the police vehicle and driver for travel to the airport, a charge the plaintiff’s attorneys claim is a mischaracterization of the situation. Sweeney claims he had no choice in the matter and complied only under fear of possible sanctions by the City Manager.

Police chief’s actions not covered by Illinois Whistleblower Act

In dismissing the case, the judge sided with the defense citing previous cases where courts ruled the plaintiff must have refused to comply with an improper action to receive protection from retaliation. The plaintiff’s attorneys vowed to reword the complaint as to comply with pleadings standards for civil claims.

Under the act, state employees like Sweeney are only covered against retaliation if they:

  • Disclose or threaten disclosure to supervisors or any public body they believe illegal conduct took place;
  • Provide information to any public body conducting an investigation into corruption; or
  • Participate in a proceeding to enforce the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act.

Types of retaliation covered under the act include termination, reprimands, suspensions, demotion or denial of promotion or transfers. Restitution for improper retaliation covered by the act includes:

  • Reinstatement;
  • Double back pay lost while unemployed;
  • Interest on back pay; and
  • Payment for reasonable attorneys fees and expenses.

Illinois whistleblower retaliation attorneys

If you believe you were terminated or otherwise retaliated against by your employer for disclosing or threatening to disclose improper or illegal conduct under Illinois law, contact the Chicago whistleblower retaliation attorneys of Goldman & Ehrlich online or call 312.332.6733 for a consultation about your case. Consultations are kept confidential pursuant to Illinois whistleblower laws. Our attorneys serve clients throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas, including Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.

Can the Illinois Department of Labor Investigate My Discrimination Complaint?

When workers in Illinois feel they have been discriminated against, they often have questions about what, if any, their legal recourse might be. Often times, employees feel as though they face an uphill battle against a powerful employer with access to high caliber legal representation.

Fortunately for workers, there are a number of different routes that may be pursued to solve their problems and hold their employers responsible for violations of state and federal laws. One agency tasked with investigating discrimination charges in the state is the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL).

If an employee levels a charge against their employer for discriminating against them in a certain way, the IDOL may step in to investigate the claim. Situations where IDOL may investigate an employer include gender wage discrimination or being a victim or having a member of the household who is a victim of domestic violence.

Filing discrimination claims with the Illinois Department of Labor

Employees who feel their discrimination case warrants investigation by IDOL should strongly consider hiring an experienced Chicago employment attorney to aid them from the onset of the claim. The process can be quite complicated in some aspects and having an attorney from the start can ensure proper paperwork is filled out and time deadlines met.

Employees must file their claims within one year of the alleged incident. With the claim, the employee should include supporting documents such as pay stubs and payroll records. The complaints are anonymous and the IDOL will look back as far as three years to find supporting evidence.

How long do IDOL investigations take?

The length of time an investigation may take depends on the complexities of the case. Investigators will look into whether reasonable cause exists that a violation of the law. Investigations may be conducted either in person or via correspondence between investigators and the employer.

Chicago employment discrimination attorneys

If you feel you received unequal pay due to your gender or were discriminated against because of domestic violence within your household, the experienced Chicago employment discrimination attorneys of Goldman & Ehrlich can help you prepare your claim with the Illinois Department of Labor.

Contact us online or call 312-332-6733 for a consultation about your case and discover your legal options. Our attorneys serve clients in Chicago and throughout Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.