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Chicago Workers to Earn Paid Sick Leave as Trend Continues in Big U.S. Cities


Employers who have a Chicago-based workforce will need to begin preparations for their employees to earn and use up to five paid sick days per year now that the Chicago City Council has taken action to require sick time benefits.


The new requirement, scheduled to go into effect July 2017, will allow workers within the city to earn one hour of sick time for every 40 hours of work, up to a maximum of five paid days per 12-month period.  Workers also will be able to roll over up to 2.5 paid sick days into the following year.


New employees will be able to start using paid sick time after a six-month probationary period.  Per a summary of the ordinance that the city provided, employers who have a paid time off (PTO) policy that offers leave for a combination of reasons will be in compliance with the new Chicago requirement for earned sick leave so long as employees can earn and use at least five PTO days within a calendar year.


With the passage of the paid sick time ordinance, Chicago joins other large cities such as Los Angeles in a growing trend to require employers to provide employees with at least some paid sick leave.


For further details, read the city of Chicago’s press release here.

Jennifer Cerven

Jennifer Cerven is a staff attorney in the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where she is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Department. She concentrates her practice in the defense of employment discrimination matters before administrative agencies including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

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