Illinois Enforces Employee Transportation Benefits in Chicago

Illinois has passed a law that will affect many Chicago-based employers and employees. The state has enacted an employee transportation benefits program, requiring many employers in the greater Chicago area to provide their employees with pre-tax commuter benefits. However, there are specific parameters that determine whether an employee and employer will be covered. 

A “covered employee” must: 

  • get paid full-time;
  • work at least an average of 35 hours per week; and
  • work at an address that is located within one mile of a public transit system run by the Regional Transportation Authority.

A “covered employer” must: 

  • have 50 or more covered employees; and
  • be located in Cook County, Warren Township in Lake County, Grant Township in Lake County, Frankfort Township in Will County, Wheatland Township in Will County; Addison Township, Bloomingdale Township, York Township, Milton Township, Winfield Township, Downers Grove Township, Lisle Township, Naperville Township, Dundee Township, Elgin Township, St. Charles Township, Geneva Township, Batavia Township, Aurora Township, Zion Township, Benton Township, Waukegan Township, Avon Township, Libertyville Township, Shields Township, Vernon Township, West Deerfield Township, Deerfield Township, McHenry Township, Nunda Township, Algonquin Township, DuPage Township, Homer Township, Lockport Township, Plainfield Township, New Lenox Township, Joliet Township, or Troy Township. 

Employers must offer the benefit to all full-time employees starting from their first full pay period after 120 days of employment. Additionally, the distributed commuter benefits must allow employees to use pre-tax dollars to buy a transit pass via payroll deduction. 

This law will come into effect on January 1, 2024.