Gov. Pritzker signs paid time off law

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Most workers in the state will have paid time off starting next year.

A new law allows employees who are currently not offered paid time off to accrue 40 hours of paid leave per year to be used after 90 days of employment. The law is required for nearly any employee in the state; it excludes independent contractors as well as some employees in the construction and parcel delivery industries who have a collective bargaining agreement in place.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the law at a news conference Monday afternoon.

“Employers benefit from allowing employees to tend to the urgent personal matters of their lives,” the governor said. “Workers’ productivity increases, and they often gain greater passion for their job when they can manage the stresses they face outside work. I’m exceptionally proud that labor and business came together to recognize the value of this requirement to employees and employers alike.”

Illinois is the third state in the nation to guarantee paid time off after Nevada and Maine.

“For far too long, more than two million Illinoisans were forced to decide between getting a paycheck or taking time off to address their personal or familial needs,” Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), the House sponsor of the law, said. “Because of the legislation Governor Pritzker has signed into law today, Illinois workers will no longer have to face that decision and will have at least five days of paid leave each year to be used however they see fit.”

The time off can be used for any reason. Employees are also not required to find a replacement during their leave.

Cherita Ellens, President and CEO of Women Employed, said 1.5 million workers in the state are affected by the new law.

“This is a critical step towards helping level the playing field of workplace rights for working people- particularly women and people of color in low paid jobs,” Ellens said.

The law will go into effect at the start of 2024. Employees can start using the days on March 31, 2024.

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