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Holiday Bonuses and Discrimination

Nov. 17, 2020

As per the Minimum Wage Law in Illinois, your employer is obligated to pay you for all of the hours you worked whether you are a salaried or an hourly employee. If you fail to complete certain hours in the week, you will not be paid for them. However, you can enter into an agreement with your employer to use some of your holiday and sick leave benefits for those days if you have them.

Holiday Leaves

As per state law, private employers don’t have to give their employees paid or unpaid holiday leaves and your employer may also ask you to working during them. Additionally, they do not have to pay you premium wages for working during the holidays either unless the hours qualify for overtime. If your employer does give you paid or unpaid holiday leaves, it has to comply with company policy or your work contract.

Vacation Leaves

Similarly, an employer who is based in Illinois is not obligated to provide employees with paid or unpaid vacation benefits. They are only obligated to do so if the company has a policy or a contract has a clause that promises said leaves.

If the policy or contract details vacation benefits, the employer has to pay the employee all of their earned or collective vacation if the employee separates from the company. The employee cannot claim them after leaving the company unless he/she is part of a collective bargaining agreement with a union that provides otherwise.

Additionally, no company policy can state a deadline for vacation time. If vacations are part of the policy, employers have to give employees a reasonable amount of time to use those leaves, not lose them if they don’t use by a certain date.

Even though employers in Illinois are not obligated to observe holidays in the state, some do offer days off on Christmas and New Year’s Day. However, during that time they don’t have to pay their employees if the business is closed on those days and if their employees are not scheduled to work during them.

If you think your employer is withholding your holiday bonus or leaves from you even though he/she is contractually obligated to provide them, get in touch with our attorneys at the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today. We have over 30 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of employees in Illinois and the surrounding states. Get in touch with us for a consultation in Schaumburg, IL today!