Table of Contents

    FAQs

    Can my employer hold my paycheck until I return my uniform(s), tools, pager, etc.?

    No, an employer cannot withhold or deduct from wages pending the return of uniforms, tools, pagers, or any other employer owned equipment. 56 Ill. Adm. Code 300.830.

    Can my employer take money out of my wages to cover cash register shortages or damages to the employer's equipment/property?

    No, an employer cannot deduct money from your pay for cash or inventory shortages or damages to the employer's equipment or property, unless you sign an express written agreement allowing the deductions AT THE TIME the deduction is made. See Section 300.730 and Section 300.820​.

    However, where a deduction is to continue over a period of time and the written agreement provided for the period of time, the same amount of deduction each pay period and allows for voluntary withdrawal​ for the deduction, the agreement shall be considered freely given at the time the deduction is made. See Section 300.720.

    Can my employer make me pay for my uniform?

    No, unless you sign an express written agreement AT THE TIME the deduction is made. 56 Ill. Adm. Code 300.840.

    However, where a deduction is to continue over a period of time and the written agreement provided for the period of time, the same amount of deduction each pay period and allows for voluntary withdrawal for the deduction, the agreement shall be considered freely given at the time the deduction is made. See Section 300.720​.

    What deductions can an employer legally make from my pay?

    An employer may make certain deductions from your pay, but the law mandates that each employee shall be furnished with an itemized statement of deductions for each pay period. Deductions may be made

    • when required by law (such as taxes),
    • to the benefit of the employee (such as health insurance premiums, union dues etc.​),
    • a valid wage assignment or wage deduction order in effect, made
    • with the express written consent of the employee, given freely at the time the deduction is made.

    The law allows other deductions for employees of the City of Chicago, METRA, CTA, CHA, Chicago Park District, Chicago Board of Education and Chicago City Colleges.

    In addition, an employer cannot withhold earned vacation or wages or any final compensation because you have failed to give notice of the termination of your employment, because your termination of employment was not voluntary or you have failed to return equipment, uniforms, telephones, pagers or other employer owned equipment you used during the course of your employment. Where an employee accepts a disputed paycheck with a deduction, acceptance will not be considered evidence that the employee has accepted the deduction.

    If I have failed to pay back a cash advance can the total amount be deducted from my final paycheck?

    During the course of employment no cash advance repayment agreement can provide a repayment schedule of more than 15% of an employee's wages per paycheck. However, if upon termination, an employee owes an amount greater than 15% of gross wages, that amount may be withheld from the employee's final compensation, but only if such arrangement was included in the agreement signed when the cash advance was made.

    Can an employer make deductions from my pay for overpayments made to me?

    When an employee agrees an overpayment has been made the entire sum may be deducted on the employee's first regular payday subsequent to the payday on which the overpayment occurred. If an overpayment is not discovered and one or more paydays have passed, the employer and employee shall agree on a repayment schedule. If the employer and employee cannot agree, the employer cannot make deductions without complying with Section 9 of the Act.

    If I believe I have not been properly paid or the employer made an improper deduction, what can I do?

    You may file a claim with the Illinois Department of Labor by completing a claim form which can be found on the Department's web site or you may prosecute your own claim in the Circuit Court of Illinois. If you elect to submit a claim form to the Department, the Department will commence an investigation into your claim. Acceptance by the Department of your claim does not mean the Department has found merit in your claim.​​