Illinois is set to become just the third state mandating companies provide paid leave for any reason. The Paid Leave for All Workers Act (the “Act”) (SB) 208 passed both houses of the legislature on January 10, 2023, and on March 13, 2023, Governor JB Pritzker signed the bill into law, which is set to go in effect January 1, 2024.

Requirements of the Act

  • The Act will require nearly all covered Illinois employers to provide its covered employees up to 40 hours of paid leave per year, to be used “for any purpose.”

Application of the Act

  • The Act will permit employees to use the leave after 90 days on the job or March 31, 2024, whichever is later, unless an employer allows them to utilize leave earlier.
  • Employees may determine how much leave to use, but employers may set a reasonable minimum of increment of no less than two hours per day.
  • Employers will not be permitted to require any reason, documentation or certification of the need to take leave.
  • Employers may require up to seven calendar days’ notice of foreseeable leave if they have a written policy provided to employees outlining notice requirements and procedures. If the leave is not foreseeable, employees must provide notice as soon as practicable.
  • Employers will not need to pay unused paid leave unless the employer’s policy charges or credits paid leave provided for by the Act to a paid time off bank or vacation account.

Accrual or Frontloading?

  • Beginning January 1, 2024, or when employment begins, leave accrues at the rate of one hour of paid leave for every forty hours worked.
    • If the Employer uses the accrual method Employees may carry over forty hours of paid leave from one 12-month period to the next.
  • Employers can choose to frontload the leave on the first day of employment or the first day of a designated twelve-month period.
    • If leave is frontloaded no carryover is required.

The Act covers all employees, with the following exceptions:

  • School districts organized under the School Code or park districts organized under the Park District Code.
  • Certain temporary employees of an institution of higher learning.
  • Certain employees covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
  • Railroad employees

For Employers Covered under the Chicago and Cook County Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

  • This statewide Paid Leave for All Workers Act would not cover employees receiving paid sick leave under Chicago’s or Cook County’s sick leave ordinances.
  • The Act states that it “shall not apply to any employer that is covered by a municipal or county ordinance that is in effect on the effective date of [the] Act that requires employers to give any form of paid leave to their employees, including paid sick leave or paid leave.”

Additional Legal Background

Employers must provide written notice of the Act’s requirements, keep, for at least three years, records of hours worked, paid leave accrued and taken, and any remaining paid leave balance. Employers must also inform employees of their accrued, unused leave balance upon request, and must provide written notice five days prior to making changes to their leave provisions.

For any local ordinances enacted or amended on or after January 1, 2024, an employer must comply only with the provisions of the local ordinance to the extent that it provides benefits, rights, and remedies that are greater than or equal to the benefits, rights, and remedies afforded under the Act.

The Act contains protections for workers against retaliation related to the use of the Act.

Daley Mohan Groble, P.C. encourages employers to contact them with general and specific questions about the new laws and how to comply with them.