CHICAGO – With Illinois’ minimum wage set to increase to $11 an hour on Friday, January 1, 2021, the Illinois Department of Labor is encouraging employees to watch their paychecks to ensure that time worked in 2021 is paid at the new rate.
Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation into law in 2019 providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2025. Minimum wage earners received two increases in 2020 to $9.25 an hour on January 1 followed by an increase to $10 an hour on July 1.
The minimum wage will continue to increase an additional $1 an hour each January 1 until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025. Prior to the 2020 increases, the last time Illinois increased its minimum wage was more than a decade ago in 2010 when it was raised to $8.25.
The new law maintains provisions for employers to count gratuities to offset wages for workers such as food servers who regularly earn tips. Tipped employees may be paid 60 percent of the hourly minimum wage. However, workers must still earn the minimum wage after receiving tips or the employer must make up the difference.
Workers who are under 18 years old and work fewer than 650 hours in a year will earn a minimum wage of $8.50 per hour beginning January 1. The youth minimum wage rate will gradually rise to $13 an hour by 2025.