Paid Leave for All Workers is on the Horizon in Illinois

By Mark McAnulty, Nicholas Golding, and Jackson Treadway

On January 10, 2023, the Illinois legislature passed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act. Governor Pritzker has indicated that he will sign the bill into law, which will go into effect in January of 2024.

The Act requires nearly all employers to give employees a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave during a twelve-month period. Employers are given two options for how they want to grant employees this leave. Option one is for the employer to provide employees the use of all 40 hours of leave at the beginning of the twelve-month period. Utilizing this method, the employer can choose whether or not it wants to allow employees to roll over the 40 hours beyond the twelve-month period for which the paid leave was granted. Option two is for the employer to implement a system in which employees accrue their 40 hours of paid leave as they work throughout the year. If an employer utilizes this option, the Act requires the employer to allow the paid leave hours to be rolled over beyond the twelve-month period in which they were earned.

The Act allows employees to use their paid leave for any reason they desire and prohibits employers from requiring proof to certify the reason for leave. Employers are permitted to require employees to provide reasonable notice prior to utilizing their leave. Employers are not required to pay out the leave time earned under this Act upon an employee’s termination or separation from the company unless the leave is incorporated into the employer’s vacation or paid time off policy. Employers may also impose a waiting period of up to 90 days before a newly hired employee may take leave provided by this Act.

Duty to Post

Notably, the Act also imposes on employers the duty to post and maintain in a conspicuous place a sign which details employees’ rights under this new law. Additionally, employers must explain employees’ rights under the Act in any employee handbook which the employer maintains. Collective bargaining agreements that were entered into prior to the Act’s 2024 effective date are not required to comply with the Act, but agreements entered into after that date must comply or contain a waiver specifically waiving compliance with the Act. Employers should begin to prepare for this new law and begin planning for providing this additional leave.

For more information on this or any related topic, contact the KDDK Labor and Employment Law Professionals.

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