The Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act (Senate Bill 208), which will provide paid leave to virtually all Illinois employees, was passed by the Illinois legislature on January 10, 2023 and was sent to the Governor J.B. Pritzker for signature on January 30, 2023. Governor Pritzker has publicly supported this bill and it is expected he will sign the bill into law soon. Illinois is set to join Nevada and Maine as the only three states in the country with a mandatory paid leave law- requiring nearly all Illinois employers to provide employees up to 40 hours of paid leave per year for “any purpose.” This will have significant impact on Illinois employers, and it is imperative for employers to take proactive steps to review existing leave policies and prepare to implement the Act’s requirements when it goes into effect on January 1, 2024.
Scope of the Act
The Act will apply to all Illinois employers except school districts organized under the School Code and park districts organized under the Park District Code. Furthermore, all Illinois employees will be covered with a few limited exceptions:
- employees under the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act or the Railway Labor Act;
- students employed by a college or university for less than 2 consecutive calendar quarters during a calendar year with no reasonable expectation of being rehired by the same employer of the same service in a subsequent calendar year;
- employees working in the construction industry who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”); and
- employees covered by a collective CBA with an employer that provides services nationally and internationally of delivery, pickup, and transportation of parcels, documents, and freight.
The Act will not impact the validity or otherwise modify the terms of a CBA in effect on January 1, 2024. The Act’s requirements can be waived in a bona fide CBA as long as the waiver is set forth explicitly in the agreement in clear and unambiguous terms.
Th Act also exempts those employers that are covered by a municipal or county law in effect on Jan. 1, 2024, such as the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. For any municipal or county ordinances enacted or amended on or after January 1, 2024, employers are only required to comply with the provisions of the local ordinance to the extent that it provides greater benefits, rights, and remedies to employees than those provided under the Act.
Accrual and Use of 40 hours of Leave in 12-Month Period
Beginning on January 1, 2024, covered employees will accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked. However, employees cannot use their paid leave until they have completed 90 calendar days of employment, or until March 31, 2024, whichever is later.Continue reading