Paid leave is now the law in Illinois

By ELIZABETH DONALD
Illinois Correspondent

ILLINOIS GOV. JB PRITZKER signs into law the Paid Leave for All Workers Act on March 13. Illinois is now one of three states to require employers to offer paid time off for any reason starting Jan. 24, 2024. – Charles Rex Arbogast/AP photo

Five days of paid leave a year is now the law in Illinois, after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill long championed by Illinois Democrats.

“Today’s bill signing is a victory for workers and for those who advocate on behalf of humane working conditions and worker protections,” said state Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville). “Workers are people, and people have lives. Employers of any size should not force their workers to choose between losing income and letting common issues pile up.”

Stuart said the 40 hours a year of paid leave – which can be taken for any reason – gives Illinoisans the flexibility to balance responsibilities at work with their responsibilities as adults, partners, parents and citizens.

“Working families face so many challenges, and it’s been my mission to alleviate all those burdens in every way that I can,” Pritzker said at the bill signing on March 15. “Too many people can’t afford to miss even a day’s pay, but then crises arise, sometimes seemingly small, sometimes catastrophic, and they live in fear of losing income vital to their families’ survival or other repercussions at work, when their car breaks down, when their child gets sick, or when an elderly parent needs help.”

THIRD STATE TO REQUIRE PAID TIME OFF
Illinois is the third state in the nation to require paid time off for all workers, and the first among the largest states, Pritzker said.

The vast majority of workers will be covered by the new paid leave rules, though it will not impact collective bargaining agreements that often provide much more paid leave than the bill mandates. Up to 40 hours of unused leave can be carried over from one year to another, and employers cannot require employees to explain why they are taking leave or to find replacements or substitutes for their shifts. Employers can require seven days’ notice if the reason is foreseeable, and the employees must be paid their full hourly rate, including tips or commissions up to at least the full state minimum wage.

“Some are trying to cast this bill as an attack on small business, but I think that’s nonsense,” Stuart said. “The reality is that this bill imposes a small burden on employers in order to achieve a huge benefit for hardworking families. This bill will strengthen our economy, not weaken it. And besides, it’s just the right thing to do. Measures like this are necessary to keep Illinois with the curve when it comes to working conditions and standards of living.”

The new paid leave rules take effect beginning Jan. 1, 2024.


 

4 Comments

  • Is this in addition to vacation days offered by the employer, or does the vacation satisfy that leave requirement?

    Reply
  • Does this mean in factories we have to use sick time & get a frequency is this outside of that. Where we can take time off & no repercussions like a frequency

    Reply

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