The New Year Ushers in New Leave Laws Across the Country


On January 1, 2024, new and revised paid leave laws go into effect in California, Illinois, and Minnesota. These new laws usher in significant changes for which businesses will need to prepare. Additionally, amendments to paid sick leave laws in Colorado and Connecticut will become effective later in 2024. Employers, especially those doing business in multiple jurisdictions, will need to review their policies, procedures, and handbooks to ensure compliance.

An Overview of the New Laws in California, Illinois, and Minnesota

Starting on January 1, 2024, businesses with employees in California must provide those employees with at least 40 hours or five days of annual paid sick leave. This is a significant increase from the previously required 24 hours per year.

Additionally, in Illinois, the highly anticipated “any reason” paid leave law goes into effect on January 1, 2024. The new law mandates that employees receive 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period which they may use for any reason, not just health-related reasons. Illinois is only the third state in the nation to require such leave. Notably, the new law has exceptions for businesses with employees in the City of Chicago and Cook County, both of which have existing paid sick leave ordinances in place.  

Moreover, Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time law also goes into effect on January 1, 2024. In what is one of the most generous leave policies in the country, employees in Minnesota will now be entitled to at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year. Employers should note that local ordinances are still in effect in Bloomington, Duluth, Minneapolis, and St. Paul and will need to make sure their leave policies are compliant with each.

Amendments Taking Effect Later in 2024

Looking forward into next year, effective August 7, 2024, employees in Colorado are eligible to take time off for three new events including reasons related to bereavement and natural disasters. Additionally, effective October 1, 2024, Connecticut’s paid sick leave law will allow service workers to use sick leave for their own mental health wellness and qualifying reasons to assist their child who is a victim of family or sexual violence.

Other Paid Sick and Time Off Leave Laws

As a reminder, the following states all have some variation of paid sick leave laws: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Additionally, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as well as, localities in the states of Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington have paid sick leave laws. Illinois joins the states of Maine and Nevada in offering paid any reason leave. Similarly, Bernalillo County, New Mexico offers any reason leave.

The State of Michigan’s paid sick leave law is currently being litigated in the state courts. The Michigan Supreme Court and held oral arguments in the case on December 7, 2023. Not only does the case affect paid sick leave law in the state, but also the state’s minimum wage, including the tip wage credit for tipped employees. As we reported on here, if the Michigan Supreme Court reverses the Michigan Court of Appeals, the paid sick leave entitlement in Michigan will significantly increase. We will continue to closely follow this case and keep clients informed of any and all developments related to these issues.

Employer Considerations

The patchwork of paid, protected leave laws continues to become more complex next year. Employers will need to review their paid sick leave and paid time off policies, procedures, and employee handbooks in these jurisdictions to ensure compliance. If you have questions or need help reviewing your policies, contact a Honigman Labor and Employment Attorney here.

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