Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has signed a measure making Illinois the third state in the nation, and first in the Midwest, to mandate paid time off that can be used for any reason. The historic legislation provides employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave over 12 months.
Starting next March 31, or 90 days after employment begins, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without having to provide documentation to their employer under the Paid Leave for Workers Act.
The law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois, including domestic workers, but excludes independent contractors. It also exempts employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the construction and parcel delivery industries.
ONE HOUR FOR 40 WORKED
Paid leave shall accrue at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Employees will be paid their full wage while on leave, and tipped workers will be paid the minimum wage in their respective locale. Employers cannot require employees to find replacements for leave.
“No one should ever be faced with having to decide between their job, family or their physical or mental health,” said Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. “Now workers in our state will have a guaranteed, minimum amount of paid time off that they can use for any reason – whether it is visiting a doctor, attending a parent-teacher conference, caring for a family member, or recovering from domestic violence.”
FIRST AMONG LARGE STATES
Pritzker said he was proud to sign the legislation. “Working families face so many challenges, and it’s been my mission to alleviate those burdens in every way I can,” he said. “Today, we will become the third state in the nation to require paid time off, and the first among the largest states.
“Employers benefit from allowing employees to tend to the urgent personal matters of their lives. Workers’ productivity increases, and they often gain greater passion for their job when they can manage the stresses they face outside work.”
FOR WHEN LIFE HAPPENS
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton joined in the ceremony. “Life happens,” she said. “When you don’t have the space to be fully present to help with a family emergency or take care of something you need to attend to, it can be very stressful.
“With this Act, we are protecting wages and providing relief for residents and their families while taking another major step to make our state the best place to live and work.”