Do you have employees in Illinois? If you answered yes, this is one blog post that you won’t want to ignore.


Starting on January 1, 2024, employers of all sizes will be required to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave (used for any purpose) during a 12-month period to their Illinois employees – both part-time and full-time employees. For every 40 hours worked, 1 hour of accrued paid leave will accrue. And employees will be paid their full wage while on leave (for tipped workers, this means at least minimum wage). Employees can start using this time off on March 31, 2024, or 90 days after their employment has started. 


Note that the City of Chicago and Cook County have their own ordinances in place, see more on that below.


What do you need to do?


  • If your company already has a PTO policy in place granting at least the minimum hours mentioned that can be used for any purpose, then you are already compliant with this new law.
  • If you do not have a policy in place that meets the paid leave requirement, you will want to ensure your payroll system is set up with one starting January 1. You also will want to communicate this new policy to your Illinois employees.


Summarized main facts:


  • Time off accruals start January 1
    • The accrual is equal to 1 hour of leave for 40 hours worked OR you can use a front-loading system which means all 40 hours are available on the first day of each year
    • Any unused paid leave will be carried over to the following year (unless frontloaded)
  • Potential to use leave starts March 31
  • Applies to all Illinois employers regardless of size
  • All employees–both full-time and part-time–are covered
  • Employees are paid their full wage on leave
  • Employees do not have to give a reason or find a replacement to use this leave
  • Employers aren’t required to pay out unused leave upon separation UNLESS that time has been credited to PTO or vacation banks


The Illinois Department of Labor is still actively preparing guidance and materials on this, so as developments arise, we will notify applicable clients. Most notably, they are still ironing out the potential interactions between city, county, and state laws on this topic. See these links below for more info.


City of Chicago Leave


Cook County Leave


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