Illinois labor laws regulate how salaried employees must be paid, whether they are entitled to overtime, hours they can work, and deductions that can be made from their paychecks. In addition, employers must adhere to state law when providing lunch breaks and time off from work.

General Exemptions

In Illinois, executive, administrative, professional, computer and outside sales employees who perform job duties as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act do not have to be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Except for outside sales employees, exempt employees must receive a minimum salary of $455 per week, as of the date of this publication. Computer employees can be paid on a salary or hourly basis. Unless a permissible deduction applies, exempt employees must receive full compensation each pay period, regardless of number of hours worked.


An exempt employee that performs no work for the week does not have to be paid for that week.

Salary Nonexempt

A salaried employee who is not exempt from federal or Illinois law is entitled to overtime pay. Each hour over 40 must be paid at 1 1/2 times the employee's regular rate of pay. Illinois does not require double-time pay for hours worked on weekends or holidays, but if the employer has a policy promising double-time payment, it must adhere to the policy.

Work Hours

Illinois has a one-day rest law, which requires employers to give nonexempt employees 24 consecutive hours off per week. Salaried employees categorized as executive, administrative or professional by the FLSA, as well as part-time employees who work less than 20 hours per week, are excluded from the one-day rest rule. Exempt employees can be required to work an unlimited number of hours per week.

Deductions from Salary

An employer can make deductions from an exempt employee's pay only if the deduction is allowed under federal or Illinois law. For example, deductions can made in the following circumstances:

  • Unpaid disciplinary suspension
  • Unpaid leave taken under the Family Medical Leave Act
  • Violation of a major safety rule
  • To offset jury, witness or military pay 
  • Withholding required by law, such as for federal and state taxes and wage garnishment
  • Employer-sponsored benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plan.
  • When the employee has freely given her written consent.

Compensatory Time

Some employers give nonexempt employees paid time off to offset extra hours worked. In Illinois, this practice is illegal in the private sector. A salaried nonexempt employee in Illinois must receive actual overtime wages instead of compensatory time. Federal law allows private sector employers to offer exempt, but not nonexempt, employees compensatory time.


In the public sector, compensatory time off for both exempt and nonexempt employees is acceptable.

Lunch Breaks

Exempt and nonexempt salaried employees are entitled to a meal period if they work 7 1/2 or more consecutive hours. The meal period must last at least 20 minutes and occur no more than five hours after the beginning of the work period. There are a few exceptions, including employees whose meal period conditions are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.