Overtime Lawyer Chicago, IL
Many workers dream of obtaining steady nine-to-five employment, with regular weekends and holidays off to take care of their families and other personal responsibilities. Unfortunately, too many are stuck in jobs with unpredictable shifts, where they are either over-scheduled or not given the number of hours they need to support themselves.
In Chicago, worker rights are protected by laws that have been in place since 1982. The problem is, this isn’t well-known, and employers often fail to follow these laws to the letter — especially when it comes to overtime pay and minimum wage requirements.
According to the Illinois Department of Labor, there are more than 2 million workers in Illinois who aren’t being paid fairly or aren’t being paid at all because their employer hasn’t been following employment laws regarding paying overtime and offering meal breaks. If you are having issues with your employer, an overtime lawyer in Chicago, IL can help.
Table of Contents:
- Fair Workweek Laws in Chicago
- Opportunity to Work Laws in Chicago
- How Working Overtime Can Affect Your Family
- How Working Overtime Can Affect Your Health
- Reasons You May Need an Overtime Lawyer
- Common Myths About Overtime Pay
- What is Wage Theft
- Illinois Wage Theft Laws
- How Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help
- Overtime Lawyer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Fair Workweek Laws in Chicago
Workers in many industries, such as food service and retail, are frequently required to jump through hoops as part of obtaining a weekly schedule. They may have to call in at the beginning of the week or even before a shift to see if they work and the type of shift they are required to cover during the day. As a result, they have little stability in being able to plan for needs such as transportation and childcare and may be denied the total amount of hours they originally were promised when they took the job.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), there is a growing awareness of how unfair these types of practices are and how damaging they can be to an employee’s overall well-being. As a result, several major cities across the United States have initiated fair workweek laws to prohibit these practices. A Chicago overtime lawyer knows that – fortunately for workers in this area – Chicago is one of those cities.
In addition to ensuring workers receive adequate hours and timely notices of schedules, fair workweek laws also aim at prohibiting employers from taking action against employees who must request time off for certain personal duties, or from requiring them to perform unreasonable split shifts based on peak times of demand.
Opportunity to Work Laws in Chicago
Last year, Chicago passed its fair workweek scheduling ordinance. This new law allows qualified workers to file private lawsuits against their employers for violations of the scheduling rules stipulated in the ordinance.
According to Chicago’s fair workweek law, employers in covered industries are required to:
- Provide workers with at least 10 days advance notice of their schedules.
- Provide workers with compensation for last-minute schedule changes.
- Provide workers with premium pay if they are scheduled to work with less than 10 hours between shifts.
- Provide workers with extra pay if they are required to change their schedule on short notice.
How Working Overtime Can Affect Your Family
Working overtime can make things difficult at home. If you and your family are used to a certain routine, it can throw things off. For example, you may need to hire a babysitter or someone to care for your children for longer hours if you are working overtime. Working late hours can also put a strain on romantic relationships. If you are not home at the same time as your spouse because of working late hours, this can affect your relationship. You deserve to be compensated for these difficulties. It should not be hard to get paid for the hours that you work.
If you are working late hours, you may also have a hard time keeping up with chores at your home. You may be forced to hire someone to help you clean. If this is the case, you should be getting paid overtime so that you can afford to take care of your basic necessities.
How Working Overtime Can Affect Your Health
Working overtime can be stressful, which is another reason you need to be fairly compensated for your extra time in the workplace. You may not get as much sleep or have the same amount of time to exercise as you usually do. This is unfortunate but can be made up for by an increase in wages. If you are making extra money working overtime, you may believe these sacrifices are worth it.
Reasons You May Need an Overtime Lawyer
When you are dealing with issues in the workplace, especially as they pertain to fair pay, overtime, and workload expectations, you may not realize that one of the best decisions you can make is to have an overtime lawyer working with you and on your behalf.
If you are dealing with an issue regarding your type of employment (exempt vs. non-exempt) or your treatment as an employee, then you have come to the right place. Give Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers a call today to schedule a consultation with us and learn what we can do to help you.
4 Top Reasons You Need an Overtime Lawyer
- You are getting the right advice. You may rely on your friends, family, and other co-workers to give you advice for your work. This can be helpful when you are dealing with minor workplace drama. However, when it comes to protecting your workplace rights, you want to know that you have someone who is knowledgeable in this area of law and in the law specific to your state. Your lawyer can help you understand whether something less than the above board is going on from the start.
- You have retaliation protection. Say your boss is requiring you to work overtime with no extra pay or to work double shifts without premium pay. You may be tempted to let it slide or do not want to rock the boat because you are worried that your boss will fire you, not promote you, or will not pay you for your time in the future. This kind of retaliation is not only unacceptable, it is illegal. Having an overtime lawyer on your side can protect you if this is the case.
- You have help if you are in an unsafe position. If your employer has required you to work in an unsafe environment (whether exposed to injury or illness), your lawyer will be able to start building your case from the start. You can almost guarantee that if your employer is doing this to you, they are doing it to other co-workers or have done it in the past.
- You will understand the terms of your employment. Many people are not fully aware of the terms of their employment simply because they do not have a legal background. However, when you work with someone from our office, we can go over the terms of your employment and see if you are being treated fairly at work or if you were terminated legally.
Common Myths About Overtime Pay
Generally, employees are eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week. However, there are still many untruths about overtime pay that may make some employees reluctant to go after it. It is important to know the facts about overtime pay. Here are some common myths about overtime pay.
- Salaried employees are not eligible for overtime pay. This is one of the most common misconceptions about overtime pay. The truth is that salaried employees are not exempt from overtime pay. Exemption from overtime pay is actually determined by a worker’s job duties. Employees classified as executives, administrators or other professionals are exempt from overtime pay.
- If you don’t finish your work in the office and have to take it home, you will not be paid extra. If you are unable to finish all of your job duties within a 40-hour work week, your employer has to pay you for the hours worked over 40. Your employer can’t refuse to pay you overtime just because you had to take some of your work home to finish it.
- I can’t get paid overtime for attending training sessions and meetings. Many companies require their employees to attend meetings and training sessions from time to time. If your employer is requiring you to attend a meeting soon, you should be compensated for that. If you are not getting paid overtime for going to meetings or training sessions, you should contact an overtime lawyer promptly to talk about your situation.
- If I work through my lunch hour, I can’t be paid overtime. This is false. Just because you choose to work during your lunch hour, does not mean that you should not be paid for it. If you frequently work through your lunch hour and have not been paid overtime, it may be time to speak to a lawyer about your case.
- Time spent traveling for work does not count toward hours worked. Employees do not get paid for commuting to and from work every day. However, if you have to travel as part of your job, you have to be paid for those hours.
- Compensatory time can be given instead of overtime pay. In most cases, employers can’t give you compensatory time instead of overtime pay.
What is Wage Theft?
Wage theft can happen when a boss doesn’t pay their employees properly, or even at all. When an employer fails to pay legally-required overtime or refuses compensation for work that hasn’t been performed, it’s called wage theft. And unfortunately, it happens more often than you think. In fact, according to a recent study by Eastern Illinois University, 26% of employees are victims of wage theft.
But don’t worry, there is hope for workers in Chicago and across the state of Illinois. A recently passed law requires employers to post a notice of employee rights near the time clock and forbids them from retaliating against workers who speak up about being cheated out of wages. Now, any worker in Chicago knows what they need to do if they feel like they are not being paid fairly and will be protected from retaliation if they take action!
Illinois Wage Theft Laws
Illinois’s wage-theft laws are designed to protect workers who, despite their best efforts, may not be paid what they’re owed. Under Illinois law, an employer must pay its employees at least twice a month, unless an employee has written authorization from an employer. Moreover, all payments must be made on time and in full.
If an employer pays a worker in person, the worker is entitled to that money immediately. If the payment is mailed or electronically transferred, the employer must notify the worker of the date it will arrive by mail or email no later than two days before payday. The notification must also include any bank account information needed for direct deposit into the worker’s account so that it arrives on time and in full.
Do I Need an Attorney If I’m Working Overtime Without Proper Pay?
It isn’t always easy to know if your legal rights are being infringed upon. Unless you have a law degree, you probably haven’t spent years of your life studying the ins and outs of state and federal law. Therefore, you (very understandably) may not know for sure whether you are being improperly treated when it comes to work-related compensation.
Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate the challenges related to wages, overtime, leave, and other employment issues alone. Speaking with an attorney in a risk-free consultation setting will empower you to make informed decisions about your rights and legal options. Please note that consultations are confidential, in addition to being risk-free. That means that no one ever needs to know that you spoke with an attorney about your options unless you choose to tell them that you’ve taken this step
How Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help
The legal team at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is here to help when you have issues with your employer about wage disputes, scheduling concerns, or other issues. To learn what your rights may be, call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a dedicated Chicago overtime lawyer.
You deserve to be compensated for the hours that you work. After all, your time is valuable and you could spend it any way you want. If you are not working for your current employer, you could be working elsewhere to make money or spending your time with loved ones.
You should not have to work for free. If you were not given wages for overtime work you did, you need to contact an overtime lawyer in Chicago, Illinois from Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, today. We can help see if you should file for back pay and if you could be eligible for damages four the lack of payment you received from your employer.