Chicago Construction News staff writer
Illinois has become the third state in the U.S. to mandate paid time off for workers, to be used for any reason. The historic legislation provides employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period, meaning approximately 1.5 million workers will begin earning paid time off starting in 2024.
“Employers benefit from allowing employees to tend to the urgent personal matters of their lives. Workers’ productivity increases, and they often gain greater passion for their job when they can manage the stresses they face outside work,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “I’m exceptionally proud that labor and business came together to recognize the value of this requirement to employees and employers alike.”
Starting on Mar. 31, 2024, or 90 days after starting a new job, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without providing documentation to their employer under the Paid Leave for Workers Act.
The new law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois, including domestic workers, but excludes independent contractors. The law will also exempt employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the construction industry and parcel delivery industry.
“No one should ever be faced with having to decide between their job, family or their physical or mental health,” said Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. “Now, workers in our state will have a guaranteed, minimum amount of paid time off that they can use for any reason – whether it is visiting a doctor, attending a parent-teacher conference, caring for a family member, or recovering from domestic violence.
“We are grateful to all our partners in this fight to make paid leave a guaranteed right for Illinoisans.”
The legislation provides that paid leave shall accrue at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked.
“The peace of mind the Paid Leave for All Act provides every worker in our state is invaluable. It sends a message to workers that we care about providing a stable work-life balance, and they deserve time to respond to personal situations, whatever the nature may be. Forward-thinking legislation like this is one of many reasons Illinois workers enjoy a quality of life that is second to none,” said Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter.