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Certified Transcript of Payroll FAQ

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provided below highlight topics and specific questions that are often asked of the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). The information provided in the FAQs is intended to enhance public access and understanding of IDOL laws, regulations and compliance information. 

The FAQs should not be considered a substitute for the appropriate official documents (i.e. statute and/or administrative rules.) Individuals are urged to consult legal counsel of their choice. Court decisions may affect the interpretation and constitutionality of statutes. The Department cannot offer individuals legal advice or offer advisory opinions. If you need a legal opinion, we suggest you consult your own legal counsel. These FAQs are not to be considered complete and do not relieve employers from complying with applicable IDOL laws and regulations.

1. How do I know if my project should be reported to the Illinois Department of Labor certified payroll?

Every contractor should review their contract to remain in compliance with the law. If your contract says it is “subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act and other applicable laws”, you must submit certified payroll to the Illinois Department of Labor. If your contract mentions “Davis-Bacon”, you do not need to submit certified payroll to the department.

2. What is the difference between “net” and “gross” wages?

Gross pay is total amount paid before taxes and deduction, net pay is after tax and other deductions.

3. What are “non-prevailing wage hours” and why do I have to report them?

“Non-prevailing wage hours” are any hours worked on a project, outside of the public works project that you are reporting on for your certified payroll. Non-prevailing wage hours can be another public works projects. The Illinois Department of Labor requires this information to ensure that employees are receiving the proper wage rate, and overtime wages.

4. If I make a mistake on a payroll, can I make a correction to it?

The answer is yes. Once a payroll is submitted, you can go to your profile and review your submissions. Each payroll, that was submitted for the current month due, will have the withdraw button available. After the 15th of the month, prior month payrolls cannot be withdrawn. When you click the button, you will be prompted to provide a reason for withdrawing. After submitting, the withdraw will be reviewed. Upon approval you will receive an email that directs you to the appropriate payroll. The payroll will also go back into your submissions needing attention queue.

5. How do I know if my project is funded by “state capital funds”?

State agencies are going to begin inserting this language in contracts. Contractors should assume that any contract with a state agency (i.e. IDOT, CDB, DNR etc.) is part of a state capital project fund and mark the box in the portal.

6. What if another state agency requires similar information, do I have to fill this out twice?

It is possible that other state and federal agencies will require similar information. We are working with many of them to streamline the process and share information so that you don’t have duplication of work.

7. What if I have an employee that works on the project in different classifications and wage rates?

Please enter that individual in the payroll for each classification worked.

8. If I don’t have any work to report on a project for a week, do I need to submit certified payroll to IDOL?


9. Will you be adding a “final payroll” checkbox to the portal to note the last payroll for a project?


10. If I am a sub-contractor and I have always turned my certified payroll into the General Contractor, can we continue that practice?

You may continue that practice, however, the department recommends that every contractor file their own certified payroll. Ultimately, liability falls with the individual contractor.

11. If I am a General Contractor, can I log-in to the portal to verify my sub-contractors have filed their certified payroll?

No. When contractors file certified payroll with the department, they will receive a .pdf copy of their submission to IDOL. General Contractors may request a copy of that email.

12. How does the public body in charge of the project know that a contractor is complying with certified payrolls?

When contractors file certified payroll with the department, they will receive a .pdf copy of their submission to IDOL. Public bodies may request a copy of that email.

13. What if my payroll period doesn’t run Monday through Sunday?

Simply plug your days in the same way. If your payroll runs Thursday through Wednesday, start your hours on Thursday and run through Wednesday. Total your hours after that is done. The excel template order cannot be changed.

14. What if our payroll period is two weeks?

Calculations will have to be made to determine the gross pay in week one versus two. For net pay, should be reported on the second week of payroll.

15. What if I don’t know the veteran status or race/ethnicity of our employees?

Ask your employees, the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act requires the information.

16. Can I upload multiple projects in the excel file?

No, certified payroll must be submitted by each individual project.

17. What if I am entering payrolls for two different companies, do I have to have separate log-in accounts for each?