A new Illinois bill awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) signature would require Illinois employers to allow up to 40 hours of paid sick leave, which could be used for any reason without the employee having to give a reason to the employer. Illinois would join Maine and Nevada as the only states with mandatory paid sick leave laws under which the leave can be used for any purpose, while other states, including Minnesota and Michigan, could enact similar laws soon.
The law entitles employees who work in Illinois at least 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period. Per the bill:
- “The paid leave may be used by the employee for any purpose.”
- The employee is not required to provide an employer “a reason for the leave and may not be required to provide documentation or certification as proof of or in support of the leave.”
- Employees begin accruing the leave under the law at the start of their employment and can begin using such leave within 90 days of their start date.
- If the use of leave is foreseeable, the employer may require the employee to provide at least a week’s notice.
- If the use of leave is not foreseeable, the employee only has to provide notice “as soon as is practicable.”
Paid sick leave PLUS: Currently, 14 states and the District of Columbia require employers to provide paid sick leave. Illinois’ law, however, would join Maine and Nevada as the only states to require paid time off for any purpose. Thus, while nominally a paid sick leave law, in practice, Illinois’ law functions as a general PTO mandate: employees are allotted at least 40 hours of paid leave that can be used for any purpose and without a reason given to the employer.
More to come? State legislators in Minnesota and Michigan are already pursuing similar laws, while other states with existing, more limited sick leave laws, such as Connecticut, may expand their requirements to allow for leave to be taken for any purpose.
Outlook: Illinois adds to the ever growing and dizzying patchwork of state and local leave laws, and its action could portend a new wave of laws or expansions of existing laws that entitle employees to leave that can be taken for any purpose.
Published on: February 3, 2023
Authors: Gregory Hoff
Topics: Employment Law