Illinois' minimum wage will increase by $1 on New Year's Day, Department of Labor says

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, December 20, 2021

SPRINGFIELD (WLS) -- The minimum wage in Illinois is set to increase to $12 per hour on New Year's Day, Department of Labor Public Information Officer Paul Cicchini said Monday.

That's a $1 increase scheduled for Jan. 1. The department encouraged minimum-wage workers to "keep a close eye" on their paychecks in 2022. Any time worked in the New Year must reflect the new $12 an hour minimum wage, the department said.

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The new law maintains provisions for employers to count gratuities to offset wages for workers, such as food servers, who regularly earn tips, the department said. Tipped employees may be paid 60% of the hourly minimum wage. However, those workers must still earn the minimum wage after receiving tips, or the employer will make up the difference.

The increase comes after Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation in 2019 that put Illinois on the path to a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2025. There have been three increases in the minimum wage since Pritzker signed that legislation.

Prior to those increases, the last time Illinois raised its minimum wage was in 2010, when it increased to $8.25. In Chicago, the minimum wage is already $15 an hour for employers that have 21 or more employees. It's $14 an hour for smaller businesses in Chicago.

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Under the bill, workers under 18 years old and who work fewer than 650 hours in a year will earn a minimum wage of $9.25 per hour beginning Jan. 1, the department said. The youth minimum wage rate will gradually rise to $13 an hour by 2025.

The department said employees with problems regarding the minimum wage can file a complaint with IDOL at the following or call 312-793-2800.