ILLINOIS (WEHT) – SB208 was signed into law, making Illinois the third state in the nation, and the first in the Midwest, to mandate paid time off to be used for any reason.

A news release says the new law will provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period. Officials say under existing law, workers are not guaranteed pay when taking time off for sick leave, childcare, mental health reasons, medical appointments, vacation or any other reason. The news release says starting on March 31, 2024, or 90 days following commencement of employment, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer under the Paid Leave for Workers Act.

Officials say this new law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois, including domestic workers, but does exclude independent contractors. Government officials say the law will also exempt employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the construction industry and parcel delivery industry.

Officials say the legislation provides that paid leave shall accrue at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. The news release says employees will be paid their full wage while on leave and tipped workers will be paid the minimum wage in their respective locale. Illinois officials say an employer cannot require an employee to find their replacement for the leave.

State Senator Cristina Castro said, “Lower-income families and workers living paycheck-to-paycheck often don’t have the luxury of taking unpaid time off because their daily wages mean the difference between stability and crisis. The Paid Leave for All Workers Act will ensure all employees in our state can rely on at least one week of paid leave per year where an emergency or a child’s illness won’t break their family’s wallet and send them into financial ruin. I’m proud of what we’ve done for working families with this historic legislation.”

SB208 can be seen below.