Minimum wage workers in Illinois will ring in the New Year with an additional increase in their base pay to $11 an hour.

The Illinois Department of Labor is encouraging employees to watch their paychecks to ensure that time worked in 2021 is paid at the new rate.

In 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation into law providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2025. Minimum wage earners received two increases in 2020 to $9.25 an hour on January 1 followed by an increase to $10 an hour on July 1.

Officials say the minimum wage will continue to increase an additional $1 an hour each January 1 until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.

“We want to make sure that workers earning minimum wage are aware that the $1 increase should be reflected in their paychecks for any time they work after the first of the year,” said Michael Kleinik, Director of the Illinois Department of Labor. “While we fully expect employers will pay the new wage, we also want workers to be aware of the change.”

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. Officials say these workers must still earn the minimum wage after receiving tips or the employer must make up the difference.

Workers who are under 18 years old and work fewer than 650 hours in a year will earn a minimum wage of $8.50 per hour beginning January 1. The youth minimum wage rate will gradually rise to $13 an hour by 2025.

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