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Illinois Legislature Passes Paid Leave For All Workers Act – Employee Rights/ Labour Relations


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On January 10, 2023, Illinois legislature passed the Paid Leave For All Workers Act (the
“Act”), which requires Illinois employers to provide at
least 40 hours of paid leave per year to be used for any reason.
Governor Pritzker announced that he will sign the Act into law,
making it effective on January 1, 2024. This is a major update for
Illinois employers and will provide most Illinois employees with
paid leave that may be used for any reason. The key provisions of
the Act are the following:

Covered Employers

The definition of employer in the Act is borrowed from the
Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”). The
Act will apply to all private sector employers of all sizes and
state and local governments. The Act does not apply to school
districts organized under the School Code or park districts
organized under the Park District Code.

Covered Employees

The definition of employee under the Act is also borrowed from
the IWPCA. The Act applies to all employees, with the exception of:
(1) those in the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act and
Railway Labor Act; (2) certain student employees; and (3)
short-term higher education employees.

Leave Usage

Employees will be able to begin using paid leave either 90 days
after the beginning of their employment or 90 days after the
effective date of the Act, whichever is later.

Accrual, Frontloading, and Carryover of Leave

Employees will accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours
worked, up to 40 hours per year. Accrual will either begin at the
commencement of employment or January 1, 2024, whichever is later.
Employers may also instead choose to frontload 40 hours of paid
leave (or the pro rata amount of what the employee would earn if
accrued during the year) on the employee’s first day of
employment or on the first day of a designated twelve-month

Covered employees may carry over any accrued, unused paid leave
at the end of the year. However, employers that choose to frontload
the minimum number of hours of paid leave are not required to allow
employees to carryover paid leave from year to year. If an employer
provides for carryover of paid leave, it may limit an
employee’s use of paid leave to 40 hours per year.

Reasons for Use and Required Notice

Paid leave may be taken for any reason.
Employees are not required to provide employers with a reason for
their choosing to take leave and employers cannot require employees
to provide documentation or certification to in support of their

However, if an employee’s use of paid leave is foreseeable,
an employer may require the employee to provide 7 calendar
days’ notice before the leave is taken. If the employee’s
use of leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice
as soon as practicable. If an employer chooses to require notice of
leave when leave is not foreseeable, it must provide a
written policy that contains the procedures for an employee to
provide such notice.


Employers are required to create and maintain records
documenting hours worked, leave accrued and taken, and remaining
paid leave balances for at least three years. Employers must also
allow the Illinois Department of Labor (“IDOL”) access to
the records. Employers that provide leave on an accrual basis must
provide notice of the amount of leave accrued or used by an
employee upon request by the employee.

Posting Requirements

Employers must post, in an area where other notices are
customarily posted, a notice that summarizes the requirements of
the Act and provides information on filing a charge with the IDOL.
The notice will be prepared by the IDOL. Employers that have
workforces comprised of a significant portion of workers who are
not literate in English must request a separate notice from the
IDOL. Violations of the posting requirements will subject employers
to a penalty of $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each
subsequent violation.


The Act prohibits employers from taking adverse action against
employees for: (1) exercising their rights under the Act; (2)
opposing practices the employee believes to be in violation of the
Act; or (3) supporting others’ exercise of their rights under
the Act. The Act also prohibits employers from considering the use
of leave under the Act as a negative factor in employment decisions
concerning discipline, promotion, or evaluation.


Employees may file a complaint with the IDOL within three years
of an employer’s alleged violation of the Act. Employers found
to have violated the Act are subject to actual damages,
compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees/costs, civil penalties,
and equitable relief. Additionally, an employer that violates the
Act will also be subject to a civil penalty of $2,500 for each
separate offense.

Employers with operations in Illinois should review their
current leave policies for compliance with the Act in advance of
the January 1, 2024, effective date.

Illinois Legislature Passes Paid Leave For All
Workers Act

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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