Workers in all industries in Illinois and throughout the United States have made their voices heard in seeking more rights and better benefits. This is true whether it is a blue-collar job or a corporate job. One issue that has come to the forefront is paid time off.
Increasingly, employers are being forced to adapt to various federal changes such as the Family and Medical Leave Act. States are also getting involved with implementing worker-friendly laws to give them more time off without fear of losing their job.
Recently, Illinois joined several other states in requiring employers to grant workers paid time off without questioning why they need it. The law will go into effect in 2024 and employers should be prepared for it to avoid disputes and know what to expect.
What does the new paid time off law mean?
Beginning in 2024, employees can receive paid time off and do not need to tell the employer why. It hinges on the number of hours the employee worked. Employees will get one hour of paid time off for every 40 hours they work.
The size of the business is irrelevant to this law. This goes beyond the paid sick leave that employers are required to give employees as that can only be used based on the employee’s health. Under Illinois’ new law, once an employee has been working for 90 days, they can start using this option.
There are exemptions for college students who are working part-time temporary jobs for their school. Other exemptions apply to seasonal employees and federal employees. Those who support it say it will help all workers, but be particularly important to lower-income people who are often deprived of extended vacation time. Detractors believe it will be problematic for smaller businesses.
Employers need to be prepared for new laws as they go into effect
Adhering to the law is a necessity for Illinois businesses. When dramatic changes are made, getting caught unprepared can cause a litany of challenges, some of which might end up leading to employment litigation. Even though the new law starts in 2024, employers should be proactive.
For this radical change to how employees are granted time off, employers might need to adjust schedules, update handbooks, develop plans and consider strategies to avoid negative ramifications. For these and other employer-employee concerns, it is useful to have experienced legal assistance from the start.