By: Ethan White
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Illinois Law Now Requires Employers to Reimburse Employee Expenses
The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (the “IWPCA”) has long provided protections for employees to ensure their employers timely pay them all the compensation they are owed, including, in some cases, personal liability for the person making the decision to withhold compensation. It was recently amended to provide even greater safeguards for employees when it comes to expenses employees may incur in the course of doing their job duties. Effective January 1, 2019, Section 115/9.5 of the IWPCA now requires employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee within the employee’s scope of employment and directly related to services performed for the employer.” The IWPCA further defines “necessary expenditures” to be “all reasonable expenditures or losses required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer.” While reasonable is never easily defined, the basic concept is that if an employee has paid common sense expenses in doing work that benefits the employer, the employer must reimburse that employee. While a simple concept that would seem obvious to most, it was not always the standard in Illinois. With the passage of this amendment to the IWPCA, Illinois is only the ninth state to legally require expense reimbursement on employers, joining California, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota. The amendment provides a nice addition and further layer of protection to Illinois employees and their overall compensation.
If you have earned compensation or incurred expenses in connection with your work and your employer refuses to pay you, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act may provide you a legal route to payment. Ethan White and Emery Law have more than a decade of pure litigation experience, primarily focusing on employee-side employment disputes, including wage collection cases under the IWPCA and other compensation laws. We have near daily courtroom experience in both state and federal courts. We have tried cases in DuPage County, Cook County, and the Northern District of Illinois and have litigated matters in nearly every other county in the Chicagoland area, including Will, Lake, and Ottawa counties. We look forward to working with you and helping protect and recover your compensation.