By: Camille Respess
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Instances of wage theft occur far too often in the United States. Wage theft is when employees are not given their rights, earnings or benefits they deserve from their employers. This can be manifested in a number of ways: minimum wage violations, failure to receive overtime compensation, not being paid, illegal deductions in pay, forcing workers to work off the clock.
The effects of minimum wage theft can be harmful. Cases of wage theft have been showing up across the country. On April 5, a report from New York showed that over $35 million in stolen wages was returned to workers in the state in 2017. According to an article from Hudson Valley Daily News Network, 34,446 people in New York state were victims of wage theft in 2017.
On August 26, 2018, Illinois made amendments to its wage laws. The Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) now makes it mandatory that employers pay back their employees for all expenses “directly related to services performed for [their] employer[s].”
More specifically, according to the Illinois State Legislature, the IWPCA outlines that:
- “An employer shall reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee within the employee’s scope of employment and directly related to services performed for the employer.”
- “An employee is not entitled to reimbursement under this Section if (i) the employer has an established written expense reimbursement policy and (ii) the employee failed to comply with the written expense reimbursement policy. An employer is not liable under this Section unless the employer authorized or required the employee to incur the necessary expenditure or the employer failed to comply with its own written expense policy.”
- “To ensure consistency with federal law, any rules adopted by the Department and interpretation of this Section shall be consistent and not in conflict with federal regulations and guidelines regarding employer requirements for reimbursement of employee expenses.”
The law, 820 ILCS 115/9.5, will take effect in January 2019.
The skilled attorneys of Kennedy Hunt P.C. practice in both Missouri and Illinois. We are experts in employment law, including wage and hour claims. If you believe you have been a victim of wage theft, fill out an employment questionnaire so we can better understand you claims.