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Cook County Passes Earned Sick Leave Ordinance

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Cook County recently passed the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, giving sweeping paid leave benefits to almost all employees in the county by allowing them to take time off to care for themselves and family members. The Ordinance takes effect July 2017 and is one of many new state and local employment laws passed this year in Illinois.

Under the new law, employees have the right to accrue at least 40 hours of paid sick leave in a 12-month period while on the job. Employees need only work a minimum of two hours during a two-week period within the boundaries of Cook County and work at least 80 hours during a 120-day period.

Time spent driving as part of work duties, including making deliveries and sales calls may count towards the minimum hour requirements to be covered. However, time spent commuting to and from does not count towards these requirements.

Businesses with at least one employee in Cook County must comply with the new law. Indian tribes and government employees are not covered under the Ordinance, though the latter may already be covered by local government employee benefits. Furthermore, some employees covered by collective bargaining agreements may also not be eligible to accrue paid sick leave under the Ordinance.

Who is covered under the new Chicago paid time off law?

Employees already covered by an existing paid time off program may not be eligible for additional paid time off so long as the program meets the minimum requirements set by the Ordinance. Employees will be eligible to accrue paid time off starting the first day after it takes effect on July 01, 2017.

Workers may accrue one hour of paid sick time off for working their average weekly hours. For many employees, this will be 40 hours per week but those working part time hours will still earn one hour of time off each week so long as they work their average weekly hours.

It should be noted that accrued sick leave is capped at 40 hours per 12-month period, but workers may carry over up to 20 hours towards the next 12 months. No matter how many hours are carried over, the total amount of sick hours an individual can accrue is 40 hours.

Chicago employment lawyers

If you are an employee or employer and have legal issues surrounding this new law, contact our office to speak to an experienced Chicago employment lawyer. Goldman & Ehrlich serves clients throughout Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.