Illinois employers need to prepare for upcoming changes in 2024. Below are key highlights:

Paid Leave for All Workers The new Illinois law provides eligible employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave per year to be used for any reason. This new law applies to all private employers and includes recordkeeping and notice requirements. The new paid leave provisions prohibit requiring employees to submit documentation or other proof to support a request for leave.

Chicago's Paid Leave and Sick Leave Ordinances The City of Chicago passed (on November 9, 2023) its own paid leave ordinance by amending its existing paid sick leave ordinance. Chicago employees will earn paid and sick leave of up to 40 hours each, or 80 total. While the state-paid leave law does not require payment of accrued leave at separation, the Chicago ordinance might, typically depending on the employer's size.

Crime Victim Bereavement The Illinois Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act ("VESSA") already provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. This year, the scope of leave reasons has expanded to include the following for individuals whose family or household member(s) are killed in a crime of violence: (1) to attend a funeral or wake; (2) to make arrangements for a funeral or wake, and (3) to grieve.

Extended Child Bereavement Leave Beginning January 1, 2024, companies employing 250 or more full-time workers must offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to employees who have lost a child due to suicide or homicide. Employers with 50-249 full-time employees must provide up to six weeks of leave.

Day and Temporary Staffing Changes Already in place during 2023, the amended law imposes new obligations on both temporary labor service agencies and third-party clients to disclose and train temporary workers regarding safety hazards at the worksite. There is pending legislation that, effective April 1, 2024, requires temporary labor service agencies to pay temporary workers assigned to a third-party client for more than 90 days wages and benefits (or the cash value of such benefits) equal to the lowest-paid comparable direct-hire employee at the third-party client. Third-party clients must share information about direct-hire employees with temporary labor service agencies to accomplish the equal pay requirement.

Transportation Benefits Beginning January 1, employers with 50 or more "covered employees" (working at least 35 hours per week) in Cook County and surrounding townships must furnish pre-tax commuter benefits to employees to purchase a public transit pass with pre-tax dollars. Employers must offer covered employees the pre-tax commuter benefits on their first full pay period after the employee's 120th day of employment.

Freelance Workers Beginning July 1, 2024, freelance workers (independent contractors who contract to provide products/services worth at least $500) must be paid all compensation due under a contract within 30 days of the worker completing their contracted services (or such earlier date as identified in the parties' contract). The new law prohibits conditioning timely payment on the freelance worker's acceptance of less compensation once the freelance worker begins performing the contracted services.

Liability to Employers under the Gender Violence Act The Illinois Gender Violence Act ("GVA") has long supplied victims of gender-related violence with a channel to recover damages and injunctive and other relief from alleged perpetrators. Beginning January 1, 2024, employees will also be able to sue employers whose employees or agents commit gender-related violence in the workplace, so long as the violence arises "out of and in the court of employment with the employer."

Electronic Distribution of Employee Notices Employers have long been required to post employee notices and summaries under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, Illinois Equal Pay Act, Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, and Illinois Child Labor Law. However, for employees who do not regularly report to a physical worksite, employers must now distribute the notices via email or by posting the materials to the employer's website or internet site if regularly used.

Salary Disclosure Posting Requirements Finally, in 2025, employers must disclose pay scale, benefits, and other compensation information in job postings for positions that either (i) will be performed partly or wholly in Illinois or (ii) report to a supervisor, office, or worksite in Illinois. In addition, employers must disclose promotional opportunities for certain positions to current employees within 14 days of externally posting the opportunity.

The GRSM employment team can answer your questions about these changes and ensure compliance in the new year. Please reach out to the authors to better understand the implications of these changes.

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