Just a Lawyer in Lincoln's Hometown

October 11, 2010

IWPCA Amendments, Part 2

Filed under: Employment Law — Chuck @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

As I noted in my last post, there were changes made to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act in the summer of 2010. One of the big changes concerns enforcement of wage claims. Prior to the amendments an employee making a claim at the Illinois Department of Labor, could walk away with an investigatory finding and administrative directive to the employer to pay wages due. BUT, if the employer did not pay, the employee had to go to the courts to file a wage claim lawsuit, presenting all of his or her evidence again. In other words, the trip to the IDOL was just a practice run giving the Employer a look-see at the employee’s evidence. It was usually better to go straight to

Starting January 1, 2011, an employee with a claim of $3,000 or less may take an action to the IDOL, and get a final administrative decision. A final administrative decision is just that – Final. It may be appealed through the Administrative Review Law, but no new evidence is normally allowed. So the hearing at the IDOL really means something.

Of possibly more importance, however, is the ability of an employee to bring the claim as a class action. This had not been allowed under the IWPCA prior to the amendments. If an employer has engaged in an improper practice toward the whole of the businesses workforce, as class action could be devastating. It is much more likely that employers will do whatever is necessary to avoid class actions – even strictly follow the law.

These amendments are important. Both employees and employers need to learn about them. More in later posts. As with all multi-part posts, they will be collected together into a longer single article at the Watson & Linder website when completed.

Chuck from Watson Law, LLC

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