(820 ILCS 105/12) (from Ch. 48, par. 1012)
    Sec. 12. (a) If any employee is paid by his employer less than the wage to which he is entitled under the provisions of this Act, the employee may recover in a civil action treble the amount of any such underpayments together with costs and such reasonable attorney's fees as may be allowed by the Court, and damages of 5% of the amount of any such underpayments for each month following the date of payment during which such underpayments remain unpaid. Any agreement between the employee and the employer to work for less than such wage is no defense to such action. At the request of the employee or on motion of the Director of Labor, the Department of Labor may make an assignment of such wage claim in trust for the assigning employee and may bring any legal action necessary to collect such claim, and the employer shall be required to pay the costs incurred in collecting such claim. Every such action shall be brought within 3 years from the date of the underpayment. Such employer shall be liable to the Department of Labor for up to 20% of the total employer's underpayment where the employer's conduct is proven by a preponderance of the evidence to be willful, repeated, or with reckless disregard of this Act or any rule adopted under this Act. Such employer shall be liable to the Department for an additional penalty of $1,500, payable to the Department's Wage Theft Enforcement Fund. Such employer shall be additionally liable to the employee for damages in the amount of 5% of the amount of any such underpayments for each month following the date of payment during which such underpayments remain unpaid. These penalties and damages may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Director of Labor in any circuit court. In any such action, the Director of Labor shall be represented by the Attorney General.
    If an employee collects damages of 5% of the amount of underpayments as a result of an action brought by the Director of Labor, the employee may not also collect those damages in a private action brought by the employee for the same violation. If an employee collects damages of 5% of the amount of underpayments in a private action brought by the employee, the employee may not also collect those damages as a result of an action brought by the Director of Labor for the same violation.
    (b) If an employee has not collected damages under subsection (a) for the same violation, the Director is authorized to supervise the payment of the unpaid minimum wages and the unpaid overtime compensation owing to any employee or employees under Sections 4 and 4a of this Act and may bring any legal action necessary to recover the amount of the unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime compensation and an equal additional amount as damages, and the employer shall be required to pay the costs incurred in collecting such claim. Such employer shall be additionally liable to the Department of Labor for up to 20% of the total employer's underpayment where the employer's conduct is proven by a preponderance of the evidence to be willful, repeated, or with reckless disregard of this Act or any rule adopted under this Act. Such employer shall be liable to the Department of Labor for an additional penalty of $1,500, payable to the Department's Wage Theft Enforcement Fund. The action shall be brought within 5 years from the date of the failure to pay the wages or compensation. Any sums thus recovered by the Director on behalf of an employee pursuant to this subsection shall be paid to the employee or employees affected. Any sums which, more than one year after being thus recovered, the Director is unable to pay to an employee shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(Source: P.A. 101-1, eff. 2-19-19.)