The State of Illinois has enacted the Illinois Paid Leave Act (IPLA), aiming to provide all workers in the state with paid leave benefits.
Key Provisions of the Illinois Paid Leave Act:
1. Eligibility Criteria:
The IPLA covers almost all employees, including full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. This would include pastors, bookkeepers, cleaners, and staff that are considered employees and receive a w-2 wage and tax statement.
2. Covered Reasons for Leave:
Employees will be able use paid leave provided under the PLFAW Act for “any reason of the employee’s choosing.” Under the PLFAW Act, employees are not required to provide employers with any reason for the need to use paid leave, and employers cannot require that employees provide documentation or certification as proof or in support of the need for the paid leave.
3. Accrual and Use of Leave:
Employees accrue paid leave at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours in a 12-month period. While employees can start using accrued leave after 90 days of employment, employers are allowed to front-load the total annual leave at the beginning of the benefit year.
If the need for leave is foreseeable, employers may require that employees provide up to seven calendar days' notice before the date the leave is scheduled to begin. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, employees will be required to provide notice as soon as is practicable after the employee becomes aware of the necessity for the leave.
The employers’ notice requirements, as well as whether the employer will permit employees to provide notice orally and/or in writing, must be defined in a written policy (e.g. stand-alone policy or in an employee handbook or policy manual.
That policy must be provided to the employee on the employee’s first day of employment, or on January 1, 2024, whichever is later.)
Employers may not require an employee to provide any documentation or certification in support of the leave.
5. Coordination with Other Leave Policies:
Employers are permitted to coordinate IPLA leave with other paid time off policies, such as sick leave or vacation, as long as the combined leave meets or exceeds the requirements of the IPLA.
6. Recordkeeping and Reporting:
Employers are obligated to maintain records documenting the accrual and use of paid leave for each employee, and upon request, must provide employees with access to this information.
Take Action Now!
Illinois employers should prepare to comply with the Act as soon as possible. Employers should begin drafting an earned paid leave policy that addresses the Act's requirements and prepare to implement it on January 1, 2024.
Add a Paid Leave policy to your employee handbook or, if you already have a vacation leave or PTO policy that you want to use to comply with the law, review it and update as needed to ensure compliance.
**Keep an eye out for the Paid Leave poster from the Illinois Department of Labor and, when it’s available, post it at each worksite. Posting it is mandatory. You may get phone calls asking you to order them at a cost. These are scam calls. Ignore them. You can download all required posters for free.
Provide the written notice (either individually or in a handbook) to employees by March 31, 2024, or upon hire, whichever is later.
Contact YCA if you need help!