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Payment of Wages: Illinois

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • The term wages, and other related terms, are specifically defined in the Illinois wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
  • Illinois employers must pay employees in cash or by check. Payment by direct deposit and payroll cards is permitted under certain conditions. Penalties are imposed for not paying employees as required by law. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • All employees must be paid at least semimonthly, however, exempt executive, administrative and professional employees may be paid once a month. Commissions may also be paid once a month. Pay days must occur within a certain number of days after each pay period. See Pay Frequency.
  • Each employee must be provided with an itemized statement of deductions for every pay period. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Illinois employers must notify employees of certain wage-related information when hired and whenever the information changes. Employers are also required to post this information in the workplace. See Employee Notification Requirements.
  • Illinois limits the types of deductions that employers may make from employees' wages. Penalties are imposed for violations. The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program requires certain employers that do not offer a tax-qualified retirement savings plan to withhold and remit employee contributions to tax-qualified Roth individual retirement accounts. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • Illinois employers are required to reimburse employees for all necessary expenditures or losses they incur within the scope of their employment that are directly related to services performed for the employer. See Reimbursement of Employee Expenses.
  • Terminated employees must be paid at the time of termination, if possible, but no later than the next regularly scheduled payday. Payment must include accrued vacation time in certain circumstances. Employers may be sued by employees in a civil action if they fail to comply with the law. Additional provisions apply under the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act. See Final Pay.
  • The Illinois estates law may apply to an employer who owes wages or other property to a deceased employee. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Employers must review their records each year to determine if they are holding any unclaimed wages of employees. Within certain time frames, annual reports and remittances must be made and affected employees must be notified. All employers must file reports and make remittances electronically. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.
  • Localities including Chicago and Cook County have requirements pertaining to wage payments. See Local Requirements.