Illinois Passes Paid Leave “For Any Purpose” Law, Adding to the States Mandating Paid Leave


On March 13, 2023, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law the Paid Leave for All Workers Act (Act).  The Act mandates that, effective January 1, 2024, employers provide employees with paid leave that may be taken for any reason.  Illinois joins a growing list of states that mandate paid leave, though most other states limits this type of leave to absences for sickness and similar purposes. 

Details of the Act

Under the Act, employers must provide one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per 12-month period.  Exempt employees are deemed to work 40 hours each week, unless their regular workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case the paid leave accrues based on their regular workweek. Employees will be entitled to use this leave after they complete their first 90 days with the employer.  Employers may require notice from employees up to seven days in advance; however, if leave is unforeseeable, employees need only provide notice as soon as practicable.  Employees may carry over all unused paid leave from one 12-month period to the next, but employers are not required to provide more than 40 hours leave in one 12-month period.  Alternatively, employers may choose to frontload the 40 hours of paid leave on the first day of the 12-month period.

Importantly, exempt from the Act are employers covered by a “municipal or county ordinance that is in effect on the effective date of this act that requires employers to give any form of paid leave to their employees, including paid sick leave or paid leave.”  Accordingly, employers subject to the paid sick leave laws in Chicago or Cook County will not have to provide more than 40 hours of leave and may limit the leave to health-related reasons.

Other Mandated Paid Leave

Illinois joins Maine (effective Jan. 1, 2021) and Nevada (effective Jan. 1, 2020) in requiring that employers provide employees paid leave time for any reason.  Many other states and Washington, D.C. require paid leave limited to health-related issues including: Arizona (effective July 1, 2017), California (effective July 1, 2015), Colorado (effective Jan. 1, 2021), Connecticut (effective Jan. 1, 2012), Maryland (effective Feb. 11, 2018), Massachusetts (effective July 1, 2015), Michigan (effective Mar. 29, 2019), New Jersey (effective Oct. 29, 2018), New Mexico (effective July 1, 2022), New York (effective Sept. 30, 2020), Oregon (effective Jan. 1, 2016), Rhode Island (effective July 1, 2018), Vermont (effective Jan. 1, 2017), Washington (effective Jan. 1, 2017), and Washington, D.C. (effective Nov. 13, 2008). 

Additionally, though many jurisdiction’s COVID-19 or public health emergency leave laws have expired, some are still in effect.  Jurisdictions with such laws still in effect include Los Angeles, California; Oakland, California; San Francisco, California; Colorado; Nevada; New York; and Pennsylvania.  Before rolling back any COVID-related leave policies in place, be sure to check the status of these laws in the jurisdictions in which your businesses have employees, because some of these policies either do not have a sunset date or continue into next year.

Businesses with employees in Illinois should review their policies to ensure that they are in compliance before the beginning of next year.  If you have any questions about paid leave requirements or need help reviewing your policies for compliance, please contact one of Honigman’s Labor and Employment attorneys here.

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