Feb 06, 2017

Days after it became effective, Illinois changed and clarified the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act

The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (Act) became effective on Jan. 1, 2017. Unlike the Chicago and Cook County Paid Sick Leave Ordinances, it does not mandate Illinois employers provide paid sick leave to their employees. It does require Illinois employers that offer sick leave benefits to their employees to allow their employees use a portion of those benefits for certain covered family members. We discussed the law in an earlier client alert.

Nine days after the law went into effect, the Illinois legislature passed a bill that clarified and amended the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act. These changes are anticipated to be in effect within the next 90 days.

Some of the takeaways are:

  1. Employers will be required to allow employees to use time that has not yet been accrued for the reasons provided by the Act if they otherwise allow unpaid time to be taken for person leave under a different covered plan or policy.
  2. Employees may also use sick leave for their stepchildren. They were not included in the original list.
  3. Employers may request written verification of the employee’s absence from a healthcare professional if the verification is required under another plan, including the employer’s paid time off policy.
  4. Clarifies that the Act does not apply to employees of employers subject to the Railway Labor Act or employees or employers as defined by the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act or the Federal Employers Liability Act.
  5. Clarifies that the Act does not affect collective bargaining agreements or employees’ and employers’ power to collectively bargain such agreements.

If you need more information or are seeking direction in updating your policies, particularly to comply with the Chicago and Cook County Paid Sick Leave Ordinances, please contact one of Chuhak & Tecson, P.C.’s Employment Law attorneys. 

This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.

Client alert authored by: Jeralyn H. Baran, Principal