Jun 27, 2017

City of Chicago/Cook County paid sick leave ordinances: Notices now available

Chicago’s and Cook County’s paid sick leave ordinances go into effect on July 1, 2017. All Covered Employers as defined in the ordinances are required to post a notice containing information about employees’ rights under the ordinances in a conspicuous location at their workplace and distribute a copy of the notice to their employees with their first paycheck after July 1, 2017. Chicago and Cook County have posted notices on their websites which can be customized for your business. Copies of the template notices are attached here. Although Chicago has not yet posted its final rules, Cook County’s rules are posted on its website and available here.

Under both ordinances, covered employees accrue one hour of earned sick time for every 40 hours worked. The accrual of earned time can be limited to 40 hours in a 12-month period and does not need to be paid out at the separation of employment. An employee will accrue 40 hours of earned sick leave after working 1,600 hours. If the employee works 40 hours a week, the employee will have accrued 40 hours of sick leave in 40 weeks. If the 12-month period starts on January 1 and the employee works without break, the employee will have worked 40 weeks by October. Employers may restrict the use of the earned sick leave until 180 days after the start of accrual. Employers may not retaliate against their employees for requesting or using earned sick leave for a proper purpose.

Because many employers use the calendar year to track their paid time off for their employees, employers might consider utilizing a stub year for 2017, and permit their employees to rollover all accrued but untaken paid sick leave into 2018.

Complying with the ordinances may be tricky, but we can help. If you have questions about whether you are a covered employer and whether your current leave policies comply with the ordinances, contact one of our employment lawyers. 

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