Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act
For Illinois employers, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act (the “Act”) goes into effect January 1, 2024, and it signifies a paradigm shift in workforce management. The Act, approved in November, will require nearly all covered Illinois employers to provide employees up to 40 hours of paid leave per year, to be used “for any purpose.”
Under existing laws, workers are not guaranteed pay when taking time off for sick leave, childcare, mental health reasons, medical appointments, vacation, or any other reason. Starting on March 31st, 2024, or 90 days following commencement of employment, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer under the Act.
A covered employer must decide how they want to provide paid leave hours; an accrual process over a 12-month period or frontloaded hours at the employment start date and annually after that. Employers must establish in writing what the 12-month period will be.
Employers are also subject to recordkeeping requirements including:
- Employee hours worked
- Paid leave accrued and used by each employee
- Paid leave balances for each employee
Required records must be retained for three years and made available upon request from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), or upon request from the employee.
This new law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois, including domestic workers, but does exclude independent contractors.
The Act doesn’t distinguish between part-time, full time, or seasonal employees. Both full-time and part-time employees are covered by this Act. However, employees who work fewer hours may accrue less leave time compared to full time employees.
Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance
In addition, Chicago employers face significant new mandatory paid leave requirements effective in the new year. The City Council passed the “Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance,” which replaces the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. Its original provisions allowed employees to begin accruing time on January 1, 2024, but implementation was just delayed until July of 2024.
Like the version of the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance currently in effect, Chicago employees will be entitled to earn up to 40 hours of Paid Sick Leave per 12-month accrual period. However, under the new Ordinance, Chicago employees also will be entitled to earn up to 40 hours of Paid Leave per 12-month accrual period, usable for any reason, in the style of the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act.
With a total entitlement of up to 80 hours of paid time off per 12-month period, the new Ordinance is one of the most generous paid time off laws in the country and will likely require policy changes for all Chicago employers.
Depending on employer size, paid leave may have to be paid out on separation of employment. If any changes are made to either the Illinois or the Chicago regulations, a Chicago employer must comply with the law, state or local, that provides more generous paid leave benefits, rights, and remedies.
Employers should take careful note of the proposed regulations, particularly on the issues of pre-existing paid leave policies exemption, remote employee coverage, paid leave accrual and carryover, and requesting and using paid leave rate of pay.
For additional resources, please visit:
Chicago Employers Confront Significant New Mandatory Paid Leave Requirements Effective January 1, 2024
Proposed Regulations for the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act Offer Employers a Mixed Bag for Compliance
Illinois Department of Labor Publishes Proposed Rules Implementing the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act
Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act – Brand New Guidance Ahead of the 1/1/24 Effective Date