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State of Illinois Minimum Wage Increase:

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:

Note: The federal minimum wage remains at $5.15 per hour. For further details see the U.S. Department of Labor website: Note also: If both the federal and state labor regulations apply to a business, the business must comply with the stricter of the two.

Also of interest,

The State of Illinois Equal Pay Act went into effect January 1, 2004

The Illinois 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 act.