Employees own their tips. A state law signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker clarifies and amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act went into effect on January 1st. The law states that gratuities are the property of employees, and that their employers cannot retain them. Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Labor Jason Keller says that past mistakes were made by employers who forced employees to share their tips. Keller says the particular instances that were the impetus of the law was that restaurant workers were not being given their full tips and pay for shifts at work and being withheld by restaurant owners.
The law requires gratuities to be paid to employees within 13 days after the end of the pay period during which the gratuities were earned. Keller says if the wages aren’t paid within the allotted time period that the DoL would then step in on behalf of the employee for those back wages. Employers are required to pay tipped workers a minimum of 60 percent of the state’s minimum wage and the tips and wage combined must equal at least the minimum wage.
The law does not prohibit a tip pooling arrangement among employees as permitted by law. Workers or employers who have questions regarding the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act can call the Illinois Department of Labor at 312-793-2800.