New Illinois Laws Expand Leave Time
Paid Leave for All Workers Act
One of the biggest changes coming to Illinois in 2024 is the Paid Leave for All Workers Act (PLFAW). PLFAW covers all employers, except those covered by a city or county paid sick leave law and those who are currently covered by a collective bargaining agreement. This means employers in Chicago and employers in municipalities in Cook County who have not opted out of PLFAW do not have to provide leave under the PLFAW. For employers with a collectively bargained agreement, once the agreement expires you will need to negotiate an explicit waiver or you will be covered. Effective January 1, 2024, the PLFAW will require nearly all Illinois employers to provide covered employees up to 40 hours of paid leave per year to be used for any purpose. For employers in Chicago, the City is intent on passing its own paid time off policy later this year. In its current form, it would exceed the PLFAW’s requirements and be one of the largest expansions of paid time off in any city in the United States.
Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act
Effective January 1, 2024, the Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act (CEBLA) requires covered Illinois employers to provide additional unpaid leave to employees who are faced with a child’s death due to homicide or suicide. This applies to Illinois employers with 50 or more full-time employees. Employers with 50 to 249 full-time employees: Must provide six (6) weeks of unpaid leave to employees who lose a child to homicide or suicide. Employers with 250 or more full-time employees: Must provide twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave to employees who lose a child to homicide or suicide. CEBLA leave may be taken in a single continuous period or intermittently in increments of no less than four (4) hours. However, CEBLA leave must be completed within one (1) year after the employee notifies the employer of the loss. As an additional reminder, the Family
Bereavement Leave Act was also amended in 2023 to expand the definition of “family member” and to cover losses related to fertility. Please keep these changes in mind as you are updating employment policies.
Expanded VESSA Leave
The Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act was amended to allow for leave to attend the funeral or
alternative to funeral or wake of a family or household member who is killed in a crime of violence, to make arrangements necessitated by the death of a family or household member killed in a crime of violence, or to grieve the death of a family or household member who is killed in a crime of violence.