Effective January 1, 2005, the Illinois minimum wage
increased to $6.60 per hour, from its previous level
of $5.50 per hour. For those employees under 18 years
of age, the Illinois minimum wage increased to $6.00
per hour. For further details see the Illinois Department
of Labor website: www.state.il.us/agency/idol.
The federal minimum wage remains at $5.15 per hour.
For further details see the U.S. Department of Labor
website: www.dol.gov. Note also: If both the federal
and state labor regulations apply to a business, the
business must comply with the stricter of the two.
Equal Pay Act prohibits employers with four or more
employees from paying unequal wages to men and women
for doing the same or substantially similar work, requiring
equal skill, effort, and responsibility, under similar
working conditions for the same employer in the same
county, except if the wage difference is based on a
seniority system, a merit system, a system measuring
earnings by quantity or quality of production, or factors
other than gender.
Violators will be required to pay
back wages and may pay legal costs and civil fines of
up to $2,500 per violation.
Note that the Illinois Equal Pay Act goes further
than the U.S. Equal Pay Act in Section 10(b):
It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain,
or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise any
right provided under this Act. It is unlawful for any
employer to discharge or in any manner discriminate
against any individual for inquiring about, disclosing,
comparing, or otherwise discussing the employee's wages
or the wages of any other employee, or aiding or encouraging
any person to exercise his or her rights under this