Illinois Becomes 3rd State to Enact Mandatory Paid Leave

By Benjamin Cox on March 14, 2023 at 9:41am

Illinois has become the third state in the nation to require 40 hours of paid time off for workers.

Under existing law, workers are not guaranteed pay when taking time off for sick leave, childcare, mental health reasons, medical appointments, vacation, or any other reason. Starting on March 31st or 90 days following commencement of employment, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer under the Paid Leave for Workers Act. This new law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois, including domestic workers, but does exclude independent contractors.

The legislation provides that 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. An employer cannot require an employee to find their replacement for the leave.

Pritzker says the law will change the lives of several thousand workers across the state: “Working families face so many challenges. It’s been my mission to alleviate all of those burdens in every way that I can. Too many people can’t afford to miss even a day’s pay, but then, crises arise – sometimes seemingly small, sometimes catastrophic. They live in fear of losing income vital to their family’s survival or other repercussions at work. That’s the case for hundreds of thousands of Illinois workers and millions of employees all across the nation.” The law will go into effect on January 1, 2024.

The law was written in conjunction with cooperation from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the Illinois Manufacturers Association, the Illinois AFL-CIO, and many other trade and employee unions across the state.