Two weeks ago, Governor Pritzker signed a new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2024 providing the first statewide paid leave law for any reason for Illinois employees.

Beginning January 1, 2024, Illinois workers (with some very limited exception) will be entitled to accrue at least 40 hours of paid leave. Employees are eligible to begin taking the leave 90 days after their employment begins or 90 days after January 1, 2024. The accrual rate is 1 hour of paid leave for each 40 hours worked. Employers may frontload the entire 40 hours of paid leave on the employee’s first day of employment or on the first day of any consecutive 12 month period designated by the employer. Employers who frontload are not required to carry over unused paid leave from year to year. Employers who do not frontload must allow for 40 hours of paid leave to be carried over annually but can cap the annual leave use at 40 hours.

Employees can use the paid leave for any reason. Employers can not require the employee to provide a reason for the leave or documentation or certification to support the leave. Employers are required to provide a written and conspicuously posted notice of the right to the leave in a handbook or otherwise. Employers who provide any type of paid leave policy (i.e. paid vacation) that satisfies the minimum amount of leave (40 hours) are not required to modify the policy if employees are allowed to take leave for any reason at their discretion. Employers are allowed to require at least 7 days notice of the leave taking where foreseeable. If the need for the leave is unforeseeable, employees need only provide notice “as soon as is practicable.”

Employers are required to keep strict recordkeeping of the leave, including(1) all hours worker; (2) paid leave accrued and taken; and (3) remaining balance. These records must be kept for at least 3 years.

Illinois thus joins only 2 other states in the country (Maine and Nevada) in providing paid leave for employees.     

With over 39 years’ experience in advising employers and employees on workplace issues, let Boznos Law work with you to ensure you are ready to meet the challenges posed by the changes to the employment laws. Call Bill Boznos today at (630) 375-1958 or contact us at through our website.


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