Illinois poised to mandate paid leave for nearly all workers

Expansive paid leave legislation requiring Illinois employers to give workers time off based on hours worked, to be used for any reason, is posed to be signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Requiring paid vacation is rare in the U.S. — just Maine and Nevada have similar laws — although common in other industrialized nations.

Fourteen states and Washington, D.C., require employers offer paid sick leave via similar laws, although employees may only use it for health-related issues. What sets Illinois’ new legislation apart is workers won’t have to explain the reason for their absence as long as they provide notice in accordance with reasonable employer standards.

Seasonal workers such as lifeguards will be exempt, as will federal employees or college students who work non-full-time, temporary jobs for their university.

The legislation would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Employees will accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked up to 40 hours total, although the employer may offer more. Employees can start using the time once they have worked for 90 days.