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Illinois PTO Laws: What Employers Need To Know About Illinois Paid Time-off Laws

Illinois is one of the rare states after Maine and Nevada to make changes to its paid time off (PTO) laws. For employers in the state, familiarity with the existing and updated Illinois Paid Time Off (PTO) laws is essential for providing workers with benefits mandated by the state laws.

The new Illinois PTO law is designed to promote fair and equitable treatment of employees by employers. In this comprehensive guide on Illinois paid leave, we will explore the key aspects of Illinois PTO laws.

Yes, since January 1, 2024, Illinois’ Paid Leave for All Workers Act came into effect, which makes it mandatory for Illinois employers to provide pay for “any reason” to employees. The new law marks a significant shift in employment law within the state as it applies to all private employers irrespective of their business industry and size.

Under the new Illinois paid leave law, all employers must provide their employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave annually for any reason. This Act is crucial for employees and employers, ensuring workers can manage personal matters without losing pay and enhancing productivity and job satisfaction.

Employees earn 1 hour of paid time off for every 40 hours worked. However, this Illinois PTO law excludes independent contractors and exempt employees covered by collective bargaining agreements in certain industries.

What are the qualifying reasons for paid time off? Who will be eligible for paid leave?

According to Illinois paid time off law, an employee can ask for paid leave for one of the following reasons:

  • sick leave
  • vacation,
  • childcare
  • mental health, and
  • medical appointments

All employees, regardless of their role or industry, are eligible for this leave, provided they meet the essential criteria set by the Act​​. It includes all the employees in the private and public sectors, full-time and part-time. However, this Act does not cover temporary part-time and student employees in schools and universities.

The new Illinois PTO law also covers family members of eligible employees, including children, spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and stepparents.

However, employers can create policies regarding paid leave, such as when employees should inform managers of the leave.

How many hours of paid leave can employers allot to workers?

As part of the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, as of January 1, 2024, all Illinois employers must provide a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave per year to eligible employees. However, this is the minimum state requirement; employers can offer more paid time off depending on the company policies.

Employees will earn one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, and employers must ensure all employees receive at least 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.

Laws for Various Types of Leaves in Illinois

In Illinois, various types of leave are governed by federal and state laws. Additionally, employers can create policies related to different kinds of leave in Illinois.

Let’s take a look at the different types of leave available.

1. Sick leave

All employers are mandated to follow the Employee Sick Leave Act (Public Act 99-0841). It allows employees to have specific days for sick leaves to attend to their or a close family member’s health and medical requirements.

The Act allows employees “for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, [domestic partner], sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent, for reasonable periods as the employee’s attendance may be necessary, on the same terms upon which the employee can use sick leave benefits for the employee’s illness or injury.”

As of January 1, 2024, employees can accrue at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

2. Maternity, Paternity, & FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to eligible employees in Illinois. Employers must be familiar with the requirements of FMLA, which provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in 12 months for eligible employees for qualifying reasons, including the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, serious health conditions, and military caregiving.

The maternity and paternity leave provisions are included within FMLA, allowing employees to apply for unpaid leave during pregnancy. Pregnant employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA. It is available for fathers, too, who need time to bond with the new child.

It is also applicable during the adoption of a child. Paternity leave is also 12 weeks and may be continuous, unless otherwise specified by an employer.

Additionally. the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is another federal law that all employers in Illinois must follow. It protects pregnant women from discrimination in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.

3. Bereavement leave

Illinois, unlike most states, has specific state laws mandating bereavement leave. These are the Child Bereavement Leave Act, a law included in the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Family Bereavement Leave Act. These laws have been in effect since 2023.

The FMLA mandates that all employers should provide at least ten unpaid days for bereavement in case of the loss of a child. The employee should apply for bereavement leave within 2 months of the death of the child.

Employers typically determine other policies related to bereavement leave. Employees may use paid time off or unpaid leave for bereavement purposes, depending on company policies.

4. Jury duty leave

Illinois state law requires employers to provide unpaid leave to employees summoned to serve on a jury. All Illinois employers must allow employees at least two hours of paid time off to cast their votes during federal, state, or local elections.

No employer can penalize or discharge employees for fulfilling their civic duty by serving on a jury. However, they can decide when the employees take time off to vote during work hours.

5. Military leave

Illinois employers are required to follow the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) law that provides employment protections and reemployment rights for military service members.

The law allows employees to join military service when needed without losing their jobs. It guarantees 24 months of health benefits and 5 years of unpaid time off for military leave.

Apart from the federal law, there are some state laws as well.

Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA) is practical since January 2019, simplifying and consolidating existing Illinois military service laws and providing additional protections, supplementing the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

Under this law, service members are not required to get employer permission for military leave but must provide advance notice. Public employees receive additional benefits like paid military leave and expanded health coverage.

All service members who take military leave are credited with average efficiency or performance ratings for the three years before the leave, with periods of military duty counted as civilian service for seniority or promotion eligibility.

6. Voting leave

Illinois PTO law requires all employers to provide eligible employees with up to two hours of paid voting leave if they do not have sufficient time to vote before or after their work shift. Employers must grant employees voting leave to participate in the democratic process by voting in elections.

Can employees carry over unused leave?

Under the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act, employers must be allowed to carry over unused leave to the following year. However, employers are required to pay for any unused PTO. Additionally, employers can cap the number of leaves that can be rolled over to the following year. 

Do you have to include the Illinois paid time balance on pay stubs?

As of January 1, 2022, Illinois employers must include employees’ available paid leave balances on their pay stubs or a document provided to employees on each payday. Also, the same should be provided to employees if they request it. This transparency allows employees to track their accrued and used sick leave hours.

Illinois State Holidays for 2024

Employers in Illinois should be aware of the state holidays for 2024, which may affect business operations and employee scheduling. Here is a tentative list of Illinois state holidays in 2024:

Holiday

2024 Date

General Date

New Year’s Day 2024

Monday, January 1

January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 15

3rd Monday in January

President’s Day

Monday, February 19

3rd Monday in February

Memorial Day

Monday, May 27

Last Monday in May

Juneteenth

Wednesday, June 19

June 19

Independence Day

Thursday, July 4

July 4

Labor Day

Monday, September 2

1st Monday in September

Columbus Day

Monday, October 14

2nd Monday in October

General Election Day

Tuesday, November 5

November 2 to 8

Veterans’ Day

Monday, November 11

November 11

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 28

4th Thursday of November

Thanksgiving Friday

Friday, November 29

Day after Thanksgiving

Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 25

December 25

 

How can Truein help with Paid time-off management?

Truein can be the tool that you can include in your workforce management suite for PTO management. Our time and attendance management solution offers a range of features to assist businesses in managing various aspects of employee time and attendance, including paid time off (PTO).

We created Truein to automate the tracking of paid time-off accruals entirely based on the company’s policies. You can ensure accurate tracking of PTO balances for each employee, reducing the administrative burden and potential errors associated with manual tracking.

It has features that automate the leave request and approval workflow, connecting employees and employers through a mobile and web platform that streamlines the process, making it more efficient and transparent.

Companies can integrate Truein with other HR systems and payroll softwares, to ensure that PTO is accurately reflected in payroll calculations. With over 70 customizable policy templates, employers can create specific PTO policies, including sick leave, vacation, and personal days.

This flexibility ensures that the system can adapt to various organizational needs. Furthermore, managers can utilize robust reporting and analytics capabilities that provide real-time PTO usage and trend insights.

With Truein, companies can ensure compliance with legal requirements and provide a self-service portal for employees to view their PTO balances, request leaves, and check the status of their requests.

Conclusion

Illinois is one of the progressive states that have updated the PTO laws to ensure fairness and protect employees’ rights in the workplace. All employers in Illinois must be aware of the existing and new regulations that apply to their business and ensure compliance with state and federal laws regarding paid time off.

Truein can help establish clear communication of PTO policies and assist with accurate record-keeping to help employers effectively manage PTO.

FAQs

1. Does the Act apply to part-time employees or just full-time employees?

The Paid Leave for All Workers Act applies to both part-time and full-time employees, provided they meet the eligibility criteria specified in the Act. However, temporary part-time employees are exempt from the Act.

2. What does this law mean for temporary employees who work for 3rd-party clients?

Temporary employees who work for third-party clients may be eligible for paid leave under the Act if they meet the criteria defined by the Act, such as operating a minimum number of hours within a specified period. Also, employers should consider their obligation under the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act and joint employment principles.

3. How does this law apply to companies with employees working in multiple states, including Illinois?

The Illinois Department of Labor provides protection and rights to employees who primarily work in the state or for employers who operate in Illinois. If an employee works in multiple states, further clarification on their status is needed. It is essential to be aware of and adhere to the relevant laws in each jurisdiction.

4. Does Illinois PTO law apply to interns?

The applicability of Illinois PTO laws to interns is not mandatory. Employers should decide the policies depending on factors such as the nature of the internship, the intern’s classification, and the organization’s specific requirements.

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