Today, many employees face the dilemma of how to take time off from work to care for an ill family member and still be paid. Before this law, employees had to say they were sick (when they were not) in order to be off work to care for their family and still be paid. Or, the employee would have to rely on a compassionate employer who would allow the employee to use their personal sick days in this situation. Now, it will be mandated by law that paid personal sick days of the employee can be used for the illness of a family member. In August, 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Employee Sick Leave Act, effective January 1, 2017.
Yes, Illinois really is an employment-at-will state. To that point, Illinois courts follow the employment-at-will legal doctrine in deciding "discharge cases."