Happy New Year: Illinois workers begin earning up to 40 hours of paid time off

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

A new law came into effect Jan. 1, allowing all workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid leave in a 12-month period. Workers accrue one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked.

Legislation was signed in March, making Illinois the third state in the nation and first in the Midwest to mandate paid leave for any reason.

“The Paid Leave for All Workers Act furthers our Administration’s commitment to uplift the working families of Illinois,” Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said in a statement. “As a mother and former caregiver to a parent, I understand that life happens in the most unexpected ways.

“Our residents deserve support and security when those curveballs come and this Act will continue to make Illinois the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

Starting on March 31 workers can start using their earned time off for any reason without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer under the Paid Leave for Workers Act.

“Paid Leave for all Workers means more protection and flexibility for workers in Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Labor Director Jane Flanagan. “This new law allows workers to step away from work and answer when the unpredictability of life comes calling without the threat of losing pay or their job.”

Workers will be paid their full wage and employers cannot require an employee to find their replacement for the leave.

This law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois, including domestic workers, but does exclude certain categories of workers that are not subject to the law which also requires employers to post a notice about the Paid Leave for All Workers Act.

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