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  • Boodell & Domanskis, LLC - Chicago Business Law

    Confused About Paid Leave Requirements in Illinois – You Are Not Alone!

    Depending on the location of your company and the number of employees at the company, your company may be subject to providing employees paid and unpaid leave from work for several reasons.

    STATE OF ILLINOIS – the Paid Leave for All Workers Act (“PLAWA”)

    • EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2024.
    • AMOUNT OF LEAVE: 40 hours in a 12-month period.
    • EMPLOYEES COVERED: Both full-time and part-time employees.
    • HOW LEAVE IS ACCRUED: An employee is entitled to accrue leave at a rate of 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours for the 12-month period.
    • WAITING PERIOD: There is no formal waiting period. Employees are ONLY entitled to their accrued time.
    • REASON FOR LEAVE: Any reason of the employee’s choosing.
    • NOTICE of LEAVE BY EMPLOYEE: Generally, if the leave is foreseeable, the employee should give 7 days advance notice. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, then notice just must be as soon as practicable. Employers also may establish “reasonable” written notice requirements for employees to use paid leave (whether leave is foreseeable or not).
    • CARRYOVER/ROLLOVER OF LEAVE: Employees are allowed to carry over or roll over unused, accrued leave from one year to the next; however, there is no obligation for the employer to offer more than 40 hours of paid leave off in a year. An employer may offer more than the 40 hours off if they choose but are NOT required to.
    • PAYOUT at TERMINATION of EMPLOYEMENT: Paid leave does not need to be paid out upon separation/termination of employment unless the employer includes vacation time in paid leave. In those situations, all remaining days of leave would have to be paid.
    • EXISTING LEAVE POLICIES: An employer who has a pre-existing paid leave policy that satisfies these requirements in effect on January 1, 2024, is not required to modify the pre-existing paid leave policy. This is NOT an extra 10-day leave, this can include leaves offered for other reasons, for instance paid sick time.
    • POST NOTICE
    • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    COOK COUNTY – the Cook County Paid Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) very similar to the Illinois PLAWA

    • EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2024.
    • AMOUNT OF LEAVE: 40 hours in a 12-month period.
    • EMPLOYEES COVERED: Both full-time and part-time employees.
    • HOW LEAVE IS ACCRUED: An employee is entitled to accrue leave at a rate of 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours for the 12-month period.
    • WAITING PERIOD: Employers may limit use of paid leave until an employee’s 90th day of employment.
    • REASON FOR LEAVE: Any reason of the employee’s choosing.
    • NOTICE of LEAVE BY EMPLOYEE: Generally, if the leave is foreseeable, the employee should give 7 days advance notice. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, then notice just must be as soon as practicable. Employers also may establish “reasonable” written notice requirements for employees to use paid leave (whether leave is foreseeable or not).
    • CARRYOVER/ROLLOVER OF LEAVE: Employees are allowed to carry over or roll over unused, accrued leave from one year to the next; however, there is no obligation for the employer to offer more than 40 hours of paid leave off in a year. An employer may offer more than the 40 hours off if they choose but are NOT required to.
    • PAYOUT at TERMINATION of EMPLOYEMENT: Paid leave does not need to be paid out upon separation/termination of employment unless the employer includes vacation time in paid leave. In those situations, all remaining days of leave would have to be paid.
    • EXISTING LEAVE POLICIES: An employer who has a pre-existing paid leave policy that satisfies these requirements in effect on January 1, 2024, is not required to modify the pre-existing paid leave policy. This is NOT an extra 10-day leave, this can include leaves offered for other reasons, for instance paid sick time.
    • POST NOTICE
    • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    CITY OF CHICAGO – the Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

    • EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2024.
    • AMOUNT OF LEAVE: 40 hours of paid sick leave and 40 hours of paid leave for any reason in a 12-month period.
    • EMPLOYEES COVERED: Any employee who works at least 80 hours for an employer in Chicago within any 120-day period.
    • HOW LEAVE IS ACCRUED: An employee is entitled to accrue 1 hour of Paid Leave and 1 hour of Paid Sick Leave (so 2 hours leave total) for every 35 hours worked.
      • The total leave that can be accrued is capped at 40 hours of Paid Leave and 40 hours of Paid Sick Leave in a 12-month period.
    • WAITING PERIOD: There can be a 30-day waiting period. Employees are ONLY entitled to their accrued time.
    • REASON FOR LEAVE: Chicago has 2 types of leaves: (1) for no reason, and (2) for sick time including for the employee’s or employee’s family’s preventative or medical care, if the employee or employee’s family member is a victim of a crime of violence, business closure due to public health emergency, etc.
    • NOTICE of LEAVE BY EMPLOYEE: Generally, if the leave is foreseeable, the employee should give 7 days advance notice. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, then notice just must be as soon as practicable. Employers also may establish “reasonable” written notice requirements for employees to use paid leave (whether leave is foreseeable or not).
    • CARRYOVER/ROLLOVER OF LEAVE: This depends on the choices an employer makes. Chicago gives employers a choice of 2 ways to grant leave:
      • If the employer chooses the carryover method, at the end of each 12-month accrual period, employees will be allowed to carry over to the following 12-month period up to 16 hours of Paid Leave and 80 hours of Paid Sick Leave. Employers do not need to pay out any unused leave that did not carry over.
      • If the employer chooses the frontloading method, the employer will need to immediately grant employees 40 hours of Paid Leave or 40 hours of Paid Sick Leave or both on the first day of employment (or the first day of the 12-month accrual period). The Ordinance states that if the employer frontloads Paid Leave, the employer is not required to allow carryover of Paid Leave to the next year.
    • PAYOUT at TERMINATION of EMPLOYEMENT:
      • For Paid Leave, small employers (50 or fewer employees) do not need to pay out any unused Paid Leave; medium employers (51-100 employees) are required to pay out 16 hours of unused Paid Leave until July 1, 2025, and thereafter, will be required to pay out all unused Paid Leave.
      • For Paid Sick Leave, employers do not need to pay out unused Paid Sick Leave on termination.
    • EXISTING LEAVE POLICIES: An employer who has a qualifying pre-existing paid leave policy in effect on January 1, 2024, is not required to modify the pre-existing paid leave policy. This is NOT an extra 10-day leave, this can include leaves offered for other reasons, for instance paid sick time.
    • POST NOTICE
    • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    As reflected above, the State of Illinois and Cook County requirements are almost identical, and one policy can satisfy both. The City of Chicago requirements are more extensive, and you will have to consider more carefully implementation of the leave policy on July 1, 2024.

    For additional information about the content in this post or assistance with any questions about your business, the attorneys at B&D are ready to help you. Reach out to us.

    Should you have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation concerning the topics in this article, please contact Audra Karalius at akaralius@boodlaw.com.

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