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Illinois Paid Leave Coming in 2024

On March 13, 2023, the Governor of Illinois signed the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act (PLFAW). The PLFAW will provide almost all Illinois employees with the ability to take paid leave for any reason, effective January 1, 2024. Here are the key takeaways for employers.

Accrual and Frontloading:

Employees can accrue a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave during a designated 12-month period. Leave accrues at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Employers can also frontload the leave on the first day of employment or the first day of a designated twelve-month period.


Unused accrued leave will carry over, but there is no requirement to provide more than 40 hours of paid leave in a designated twelve-month period. If employers are frontloading leave, there is no requirement to carry over unused leave.

Eligibility and Use:

Employees can only use paid leave once they have completed 90 days of employment or March 31, 2024, whichever is later. Employers are also permitted to set a reasonable minimum increment in which leave can be taken of no less than two hours per day.

Qualifying Reasons:

Employees do not have to provide a reason for taking leave. Employers are also not allowed to require documentation or certification of the need to take leave.

Documentation and Notice:

Employers can require up to 7 days' notice of foreseeable leave if a written policy outlines the notice requirements. Leave that is not foreseeable only requires notice as soon as practicable. The Illinois Department of Labor will provide a notice to post and distribute to employees.

Rate of Pay:

Pay will be at the employee’s regular hourly pay rate for the hours leave is taken.

End of Employment:

Employers do not have to pay employees for unused paid leave time at the end of employment unless the employer has a more generous paid time off policy. If a vacation bank is used to comply, then the employer will be required to pay out unused leave upon the end of employment in accordance with the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Unused time must be reinstated if an employee is rehired within 12 months.

Chicago and Cook County Paid Sick Leave:

The PLFAW does not preempt Chicago Minimum Wage and PSL Ordinance or the Cook County ESL Ordinance. It simply does not apply to an employer that is covered by either.

Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA):

The law applies to all employees, but there are exceptions, including for certain circumstances involving employees covered by a CBA:

  1. Employees in the construction industry who are covered by a bona fide CBA are not covered by the PLFAW.
  2. Employees who are covered by a bona fide CBA with an employer that provides services nationally and internationally of delivery, pickup, and transportation of parcels, documents, and freight are not covered by the PLFAW.
  3. Employees covered by a valid CBA in effect on January 1, 2024, are not covered by the PLFAW.

After January 1, 2024, PLFAW requirements can be waived in a bona fide CBA if the waiver is set forth explicitly in clear and unambiguous terms.

Action Items

  • Prepare to update leave policies.
  • Update payroll procedures for accrual of leave.
  • Have appropriate personnel trained on the requirements.

For more information about leaves, visit our article on STD, FMLA, and ADA.