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Chicago Passes Final Regulations Implementing Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

Chicago has published final regulations implementing the city’s Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave ordinance. The regulations impose the following new requirements on employers:

  • Employers may establish a 12-month leave accrual period of the employer’s choosing, so long as it is consecutive (e.g., calendar year, fiscal year, etc.).
  • If an employer front-loads at least 40 hours of paid leave, they do not have allow an employee to carryover unused paid leave. This does not apply however, to front-loading paid sick leave (i.e., employees may still carryover unused paid sick leave despite being front-loaded 40 hours of paid sick leave).
  • Employers may deny paid leave for the purposes of maintaining continuity of business operations, but such a denial should consider relevant factors such as:
    • Whether granting Paid Leave during a particular time period would significantly impact business operations.Whether the employer provides a need or service critical to the health, safety, or welfare of the people of Chicago.
    • Whether similarly situated employees are treated the same for the purposes of reviewing, approving, and denying Paid Leave.
    • Whether the employee has meaningful access to use all their Paid Leave over the 12-month period.
  • Employers may restrict use of paid leave or paid sick leave to the employee’s regular work week.
  • Employers must provide notice to new hires with the first paycheck or prior to the commencement of the employee’s employment or as part of an onboarding process, and provide written notice of the employer’s policy at the commencement of employment.
  • If an employer chooses to front-load time in lieu of accrual, the employer must make written notification of the fact and the availability of hours to an employee at the beginning of the 12-month period.
  • Employers must provide a notice annually with a paycheck issued within 30 days of July 1 via paper or electronic means through the employer’s internal communication channels.
  • If an employer makes a change to their policy, they must provide at least five calendar days’ written notice to employees before any change to paid leave policy notification requirements. They must provide at least 14 days’ advance written notice to employees if a policy change will affect their right to final compensation for such leave.
  • Employers must provide a notification to employees of the availability and use of leave.

Chicago’s Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave ordinance is effective July 1, 2024.