pexels karolina grabowska 4386339MAYWOOD – Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), is excited to announce the new $12 per hour minimum wage in Illinois is starting Jan. 1, 2022.

“Even before the pandemic, many working families were struggling,” Lightford, chief sponsor of the 2019 law raising the minimum wage, said. “This increase won’t solve all of their problems, but it will surely help.”

Public Act 101-1 was signed into law in 2019, putting the state on the path to a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2025. So far, there have been three increases to the minimum wage.

Minimum wage workers are being encouraged to keep a close eye on their paychecks in the new year to ensure all time worked in 2022 reflects the new $12 per hour minimum wage.

In Chicago, the minimum wage is already $15 per hour for employers that have 21 or more employees. It’s $14 per hour for smaller businesses.

The new law maintains provisions for employers to count gratuities to offset wages for workers, such as food servers, who regularly earn tips. Tipped employees may be paid 60% of the hourly minimum wage. However, these workers must still earn the minimum wage after receiving tips or the employer will make up the difference.

Workers under 18 years old who work fewer than 650 hours in a year will earn a minimum wage of $9.25 per hour beginning Jan. 1. The youth minimum wage rate will gradually rise to $13 per hour by 2025.

“Every year, the minimum wage goes up, and every year, employees need to check their paychecks after Jan. 1,” Lightford said. “Some employers may make honest mistakes, but don’t be afraid to report it if they don’t increase your pay.”

All employers in Illinois are required to post the “Your Rights Under Illinois Employment Laws” where notices to employees are regularly posted. The color poster, which also covers other Illinois labor laws, can be found here in English and Spanish: Illinois Labor Laws

Employees with problems regarding the minimum wage can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor at the following link: Minimum Wage Complaints or call 312-793-2800.