Gov. JB Pritzker signs legislation guaranteeing 40 hours paid leave

This law will provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 3:42 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) - On Monday, March 13, Governor JB Pritzker signed SB208 into law, which mandates paid time off to be used for any reason.

This law will provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period. Approximately 1.5 million workers will begin earning paid time off beginning next year.

Gov. Pritzker said he is exceptionally proud that labor and business came together to recognize the value of this requirement to employees and employers alike

“Today, we will become the third state in the nation to require paid time off, and the first among the largest states,”said Gov. Pritzker. “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.

According to a release from Gov. JB Pritzker’s Office, under existing law, workers are not guaranteed pay when taking time off for sick leave, childcare, mental health reasons, medical appointments, vacation or any other reason.

House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said the guarantee of paid leave for all is about making workplaces fairer, and also about making families stronger.

“Being able to care for a sick child, meet basic life needs or taking time to tend to your own mental health shouldn’t be luxuries, but basic rights,” Speaker Welch said. “Ensuring every worker has access to basic paid leave ensures that no one will ever have to choose between being there for their family or providing for their family.”

Starting March 31, 2024, or 90 days following commencement of employment, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer under the Paid Leave for Workers Act.

SB208 applies to every employee working for an employer in Ill., including domestic workers, but does exclude independent contractors. The law will exempt employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the construction industry and parcel delivery industry.

With this legislation, paid leave shall accrue at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Employees will be paid their full wage while on leave and tipped workers will be paid the minimum wage in their respective locale. An employer cannot require an employee to find their replacement for the leave, according to the release.