Changes may be Coming to Illinois Minimum Wage Laws

Big changes could be in store for Illinois business owners. Earlier this month a new bill was proposed in the Illinois House of Representatives that would raise the state’s minimum wage.

Illinois Minimum Wage LawsHouse Bill 3718 (HB 3718), sponsored by Representative Art Turner, would raise the Illinois minimum wage in increments. Currently, the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 per hour, which is a dollar above the federal minimum wage requirement of $7.25 per hour. Under HB 3718, by July 1, 2016 the minimum wage would be at $10.65 an hour. Illinois currently has the fourth highest minimum wage in the country, and the highest minimum wage in the Midwest region. It also has one of the biggest wealth disparities in the country, a point that many Illinois legislatures point to in support of the fight for minimum wage increases.

 Under the increment plan by October 1, 2014, the minimum wage would increase by a dollar to $9.25 per hour. On July 1, 2015, the wage would increase .75 to $10.00 an hour, and finally on July 1, 2016 the Illinois minimum wage would increase to $10.65 per hour.

 Uncertain Future

The battle for increasing the Illinois minimum wage has been raging for years. In fact, in February of this year during his annual address, Governor Pat Quinn called for the Illinois minimum wage to be raised to $10.00 per hour. Further, bills similar to H.B. 3718 have already been introduced into the legislature which call for wage increases, including Senate Bill 68 (SB 68). However, there has been no significant movement in the legislature for getting SB 68 passed.

Similar wage hike campaigns have stalled, and so it is important to remain practical about the feasibility of this latest effort. Some of these alternative campaigns called for a simple $1.75 increase, that would leave the new minimum wage at $10 per hour. Others would have the amount raised to as much as $15.00 per hour.

 The campaign to raise  minimum wage is nothing new. However, the process of getting a bill passed through the Illinois legislature is an onerous task that can take years. All local business owners who have questions about complying with minimum wage rules and other state and federal mandates should tread carefully. For help in Naperville and surrounding communities call the business law attorneys at Gierach Law Firm today.