Illinois

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

No Employer shall employ any of his employees for a workweek of more than 40 hours unless such employee receives compensation for his employment in excess of the hours above specified at a rate not less than 1 1/2 times the regular rate at which he is employed. Any employer may employ any employee for a period or periods of not more than 10 hours in the aggregate in any workweek in excess of the maximum hours specified without paying the compensation for overtime employment.

It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged. Under state law, employers must pay for travel time performed by employees for the benefit of their employers, such as responding to an emergency call back to work outside normal work hours.

Overtime

Employers must pay employees covered by Illinois’ overtime law 1.5 times their regular rates for hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

Breaks

Every employer shall allow every employee at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every calendar week in addition to the regular period of rest allowed at the close of each working day.

 

Chicago, Illinois – Right to Rest 

Effective July 1st, 2018, an Employee has the right to decline work hours that occur during the 11 hours following the end of a shift. An employee who agrees in writing to work hours described shall be compensated 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for any hours worked less than 11 hours following the end of a previous shift.

 

Breast Feeding Break

An employer must provide reasonable daily unpaid break time for an employee to express breast milk unless doing so would unduly disrupt the employer’s business. If possible, such break time must run concurrently with the employee’s ordinary break time. Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide employees with a private space close to their work area, other than a toilet stall, where they can express milk.

Annual Leave

Annual leave is based on an agreement between employee and employer.

 

Under the Minimum Wage Law and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, an employer is obligated to pay an employee for all time worked. For both salaried and hourly employees, if a portion of the week is not completed, the entire salary amount is not due. However, the employee may enter into an agreement with their employer to use some kind of benefit time for those days not worked.

Minimum Wage

The state minimum wage is $9.25 per hour effective January 1, 2020. 

On July 1, 2020, the minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour.

The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the DOL website for the current rates.

Meal Breaks

Every employer shall permit its employees who are to work for 7 1/2 continuous hours or longer, at least 20 minutes for a meal period beginning no later than 5 hours after the start of the work period.

 

This does not apply to employees for whom meal periods are established through the collective bargaining process. This does not apply to employees who monitor individuals with developmental disabilities or mental illness, or both, and who, in the course of those duties, are required to be on call during an entire 8 hour work period; however, those employees shall be allowed to eat a meal during the 8 hour work period while continuing to monitor those individuals.

 

Minors younger than age 16 must be permitted a meal period of at least 30 minutes for each period of five continuous hours of work. A meal period of less than 30 minutes does not constitute a break in a continuous period of work.

Special Leave

Sick Leave

An employee may use personal sick leave benefits provided by the employer for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent, on the same terms upon which the employee is able to use personal sick leave benefits for the employee’s own illness or injury. An employer may request written verification of the employee’s absence from a healthcare professional if such verification is required under the employer’s employment benefit plan or paid time off policy.   An employer may limit the use of personal sick leave benefits provided by the employer for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent to an amount not less than the personal sick leave that would be earned or accrued during 6 months at the employee’s then-current rate of entitlement. For employers who base personal sick leave benefits on an employee’s years of service instead of annual or monthly accrual, such an employer may limit the amount of sick leave to half of the employee’s maximum annual grant.   An employer who provides personal sick leave benefits or a paid time off policy that would otherwise provide benefits as required above shall not be required to modify such benefits. This Employee Sick Leave Act does not extend the maximum period of leave to which an employee is entitled under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, regardless of whether the employee receives sick leave compensation during that leave.

Bereavement Leave

The Bereavement Leave act requires Illinois employers covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow employees to take off up to 10 workdays per year as unpaid bereavement leave following the death of a child (or up to 6 weeks if the employee experiences the death of more than one child).

Jury Duty Leave

Any person who is not legally disqualified to serve on juries, and has been duly summoned for jury duty for either petit or grand jury service, shall be given time off from employment to serve upon the jury for which such employee is summoned, regardless of the employment shift such employee is assigned to at the time of service of such summons. An employee shall give his employer reasonable notice of required jury service. An employer may not deny an employee time off for jury duty because such employee is then assigned to work a night shift of employment, that is, an employer cannot require a night shift worker to work while such employee is doing jury duty in the daytime.

Domestic Violence Leave

The Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”) was amended effective January 1, 2017, to provide that all employers, regardless of size, must offer Illinois employees unpaid leave if they or a member of their family or household is the victim of domestic abuse. Previously, only employers with 15 or more employees were covered. Employers with 50 or more employers must offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave; employers with 15-49 employees must offer up to eight weeks of unpaid leave, and employers with less than 15 employees must offer up to four weeks of unpaid leave.

Voluntary Emergency Service Leave

Effective January 1, 2018, no public or private employer may terminate an employee who is a volunteer emergency worker because the employee when acting as a volunteer emergency worker, is absent from or late to his or her employment in order to respond to an emergency prior to the time the employee is to report to his or her place of employment. A public or private employer shall not discipline an employee who is a volunteer emergency worker if the employee, in the scope of acting as a volunteer emergency worker, responds to an emergency phone call or text message during work hours that requests the person’s volunteer emergency services.

Witness and Juvenile Court Proceeding Leave

An employer may not punish or penalize an employee who is a witness to a crime and takes time off from work to testify at a criminal proceeding pursuant to a subpoena. Leave is unpaid.

School Activities Leave

Employers with 50 or more employees must provide leave to eligible employees so that they can attend their children’s school conferences or classroom activities when the events cannot be rescheduled during non-work hours. To be eligible, an employee must have:

      • Worked for the employer for at least six consecutive months before making the leave request; and
      • Been employed on at least a half-time basis during that six-month period.

An employer must provide an eligible employee with up to eight hours of school visitation leave per school year, but no more than four hours can be taken on one day. Employers are not required to pay employees for the leave; however, they must make a good faith effort to allow employees to make up the time missed. Before taking school visitation leave, an employee must use all other accrued leave, except sick or disability leave. Employees must provide advance notice of leave. The employee should submit a verification form to employers following the leave. Job protections apply to employees taking leave.

Voting Leave

Leave laws to apply to general or special elections and primary elections.

        • For general or special elections, employers must give up to a two-hour paid leave, for eligible employees. Prior notice from the employee is required.
        • For primary elections, up to a two-hour unpaid leave is permitted, with employer’s consent.
Civil Air Patrol Leave

Employers with 15 or more employees must provide unpaid leave to eligible employees who are members of the civil air patrol performing a civil air patrol mission. To be eligible, the employee must have been employed by the same employer for at least 12 months and must have at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period before the leave. The amount of leave depends on the employer’s size, as follows:

          • Between 15 and 50 employees—Up to 15 days of leave.
          • More than 50 employees—Up to 30 days of leave.

Employers cannot require employees to use up other types of leave before taking civil air patrol leave. Employees must give advance notice of leave, and employers may require certification to verify eligibility for leave. Job protections apply to employees taking leave.

Family Military Leave

Employers with 15 or more employees must provide eligible employees with unpaid family military leave. To be eligible, an employee must:

            • Be the spouse, parent, child or grandparent of a person called to military service lasting longer than 30 days; and
            • Have been employed by the same employer for at least 12 months, and
            • Must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period before the leave.

The maximum amount of leave depends on the employer’s size, as follows:

              • Between 15 and 50 employees—Up to 15 days of leave.
              • More than 50 employees—Up to 30 days of leave.

Before taking family military leave, employees must use up all other types of accrued leave, except sick or disability leave. Employees must provide advance notice. An employer may require certification to verify eligibility for leave. Job protections apply to employees taking leave.

Military Leave

In addition to USERRA, Illinois has the following laws providing employment protections for military service members:

                • Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA): Effective Jan. 1, 2019, ISERRA replaces prior state laws in order to consolidate and clarify the employment rights and protections for military members. ISERRA provides service members with the right to take a military leave of absence and protects servicemembers from retaliation. Reemployment rights as provided under federal USERRA apply. Employer notice requirements also apply
                • Nondiscrimination: It is unlawful for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against employees based on their military status. Separate nondiscrimination provisions apply to members of the National Guard or Reserves.
Donor Leave

 Effective January 1, 2020, LDPA makes it unlawful for an employer to “retaliate against an employee for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence” under the Organ Donor Leave Act. The Organ Donor Leave Act provides employees up to 30 days of protected, unpaid organ donation leave in any 12-month period to serve as bone marrow or organ donor, and up to 1 hour of leave to donate blood, 1-1/2 hours to donate double red cells and 2 hours to donate platelets. Employers cannot require employees to use sick or vacation leave before being eligible for organ donation leave.

Blood Donation Leave

Leave requirements apply to employers with 50 or more employees. With employer approval, full-time employees who have been employed for six months or longer are eligible for paid blood donation leave. After obtaining his or her employer’s approval, an employee may use up to one hour (or more time if authorized by the employer) to donate blood every 56 days in accordance with appropriate medical standards. An employer may require an employee to provide confirmation from the blood bank. Eligible employees cannot be required to use accumulated or future sick or vacation time for the period used to donate blood.

Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Effective July 1, 2017, this ordinance allows workers in Chicago to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.

Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance

Effective July 1, 2017, this ordinance allows workers in Cook County to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.

Gender Violence – Leave

Effective January 1, 2020, VESSA has been amended to add a category of protection for victims of gender violence or employees who have families or household members who are victims of gender violence. As amended, affected employees receive the same job-protected leave as other victims of domestic or sexual violence previously covered by VESSA, the length of which depends on the size of the employer: four weeks per 12-month period for employers with 1-14 employees, eight weeks in a 12-month period for employers with 15-49 employees, and 12 weeks in a 12-month period for employers with 50 or more employees.

Last updated on: June 10th, 2020