Protecting Employers Since 1985

Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act to Take Effect January 1, 2024

On March 13, 2023, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker to take effect on January 1, 2024.

What employers are covered under the new law?  Private and public employers with at least one employee. Also includes State of Illinois, local governments, and political subdivision employers.

What employers are NOT covered?

  • Construction industry with collective bargaining agreement and related defined activities under the Act. Also, includes snow plowing and removal and refuse collection.
  • School districts/park districts if organized under the School Code or Park District Code.
  • Employees covered under collective bargaining agreement in delivery and transportation services.
  • Employers covered under paid leave/sick pay ordinances enacted before this law. For example, this would include the City of Chicago Sick Pay Ordinance and/or Cook County Sick Pay Ordinance with municipalities opt-in.

What employees are covered?

  • All Illinois workers to include full-time, part-time, seasonable, or temporary workers whether salaried exempt or hourly.

What employees are NOT covered?

  • Railroad employees as defined under the Act.
  • College/university student employees or employees on temporary/short term basis as defined in the act.

What does the Law require employers to do?

  • Paid leave for any reason to covered employees beginning January 1, 2024 or when employment begins whichever is later.
  • The amount of leave must accrue with at least one hours of paid leave for every 40 hours worked for up to 40 hours of paid leave for every 12-month period.
  • Accrual method: paid leave can be earned on a pro-rata basis with carryover. Front-loaded (40 hours) on first day of 12-month period or 1st day of employment with no carryover.
  • Upon separation of employment, the employer is NOT required to pay employees for earned/unused leave.
  • Upon re-hire of employee within one year of separation, employer must reinstate to the employee any earned but not-used paid leave.
  • Employers are subject to civil penalties of $500 to $1,000 imposed by the Illinois Department of Labor for violations of the Act.

What does the Law provide for Employees?

  • 90-day waiting period prior to use of paid leave.
  • Request for paid leave can be oral or written for any reason. The employee is NOT required to provide documentation.
  • The Employee must give Notice to the Employer
    • If foreseeable – 7 calendar days.
    • If not foreseeable – – as soon as practicable.
  • The amount of pay under the leave is the employee’s hourly rate plus tips and gratuities under the Act. The Act has special provisions for domestic workers.
  • No waiver of employee’s rights under the act can be required by the employer. It is against public policy under the Act.
  • No retaliation by the employer against employee for taking leave.
  • The employer CANNOT require an employee to secure a replacement while on leave.
  • The employer can change the 12-month period with written notice to employees.
  • The employer MUST allow leave in minimum two-hour increments.
  • The employer MUST post a poster of the law which is provided by the Illinois Department of Labor.
  • The Employer MUST maintain records for at least three years on paid leave.
  • The Employer MUST provide notice to employees of amounts earned and used on the accrual pro-rata basis.

Best practice recommendations for Employers:

  • Check with payroll 3rd party vendor as to a separate employee account for paid leave.
  • Decide on the type of company policy to comply with the law: PTO policy or self-contained Paid Leave Act policy.
  • Decide on accrual method: front loaded OR accrual/pro rata based on hours worked.

Questions? Contact attorney Anthony J. Caruso, Jr in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email.

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