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One of the biggest bills of the year

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I told subscribers about this bill today. I believe this is going to have a huge impact on working people who are struggling to get by. The fact that the main state business groups helped negotiate the bill to a place where they could be neutral is really quite something…

Gov. JB Pritzker, House Speaker Pro Tempore Jehan Gordon-Booth and Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford issued a joint statement Tuesday supporting legislation that will guarantee paid leave for all Illinois workers:

“Whether it’s dealing with a sudden family illness or an emergency auto repair, sometimes life gets in the way of work. Paid leave will have a significant, positive impact on the lives of residents across our state, and underscores our commitment to uplifting working families. We appreciate the work put into this from all stakeholders, including business and labor, to bring us to this moment.”

Key components of Senate Bill 208 include:

    · All employers will be required to provide their employees with a minimum of 40 hours (or five days) of paid leave per year to be used for any reason. Employers may choose to offer more paid leave time.

    · A worker would begin to earn paid leave on their first day of their employment at a rate of one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked.

    · Employees may use their paid leave starting on the 90th day of employment. An employer, however, may allow a worker to use it earlier.

    · Workplaces can still require their employees to provide notice before taking paid time off. If the use of leave is unforeseeable, an employee is directed to provide notice as soon as practicable.

    · Unused paid leave will carry over annually, up to 40 hours. However, employers are not required to cash out the balance of an outgoing employee’s paid leave.

    · Employers that violate the act would be subject to penalties, including fines and compensatory damages for the affected employee.

This applies to all private employers, by the way. There’s no minimum (mistake in my earlier report because I relied on a briefing like a dummy). But the law can’t override a collective bargaining agreement.

* More…

Women Employed, which has been creating fundamental, systemic change for working women for nearly 50 years, today applauded the passage of SB208, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, which provides up to 40 hours, or five days, of paid time off for all Illinois workers for any reason, including for an employee’s illness, to care for a sick family member, or for medical appointments. Women Employed led a broad-based coalition of advocates fighting for a statewide law providing paid time off for all workers.

Until now, about 1.5 million workers in Illinois did not have access to a single paid sick day. The new law, sponsored by Rep. Gordon-Booth and Sen. Lightford and championed by workers’ rights advocates and labor leaders, makes Illinois the 17th state to secure paid sick time for its workers.

“No one should fear losing income or their job because they or their loved ones are sick,” Women Employed’s Associate Director of Policy Sarah Labadie said. “Thanks to the championship of Leaders Gordon-Booth and Lightford and the commitment of Women Employed staff and our statewide coalition, Illinois can stand proud as a state where all of its workers are ensured paid time off.”

The Paid Leave for All Workers Act ensures all workers, including essential workers, have a set amount of paid time off. The bill provides:

Full- and part-time workers can earn up to 40 hours of leave per year.

Employees can use leave for any reason, including: recovering from their own illness, caring for a sick family member, school closures, reasons related to domestic or sexual violence, visiting a family member in jail or prison and other court-related reasons, and COVID-19 related reasons such as the need to quarantine or get vaccinated.

“Paid leave for all Illinois workers is long overdue,” Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth said. “I’m honored to have worked alongside Women Employed, the Shriver Center, labor leaders and so many other fierce advocates of workers’ rights who made this day possible.”

“Many low-paid workers face impossible choices when it comes to needing time off and keeping a job, and it shouldn’t be that way,” Sen. Lightford said. “In Illinois, we stand with our workers and I’m proud we worked together to make paid sick time a reality for workers who need it most.”

Dozens of Illinois cities and local governments, including Chicago, already offer paid sick days to their workers. The Paid Leave for All Workers Act ensures Illinois workers – no matter where they live – have access to the same right.

“Every day, workers are forced to choose between job security and caring for themselves or family members,” said Tim Drea, President of the IL AFL-CIO. “We’ve fought hard to ensure that millions of Illinoisans have access to paid leave, and are grateful to Rep. Gordon-Booth, Sen. Lightford, Women Employed and the deep bench of advocates for listening to the needs of working families in our state.”

The bill passed 78-30 in the House and 38-16 in the Senate and now heads to Gov. Pritzker’s desk for his signature.

“This is a great day for Illinois workers and their families,” Wendy Pollack, founder and director of the Women’s Law and Policy Initiative at the Shriver Center, said. “We couldn’t have made this possible without the outstanding support and leadership of our legislative sponsors and our dedicated coalition of advocates.”

More information on the Paid Leave for All Workers Act and a full list of coalition partners can be found here.

* The sponsors really deserve a lot of credit. Here’s Rep. Gordon-Booth’s statement…

Today, Illinois State Representative and Deputy Majority Leader, Jehan Gordon-Booth, released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 208, which will create paid leave laws across Illinois, and now heads to Governor Pritzker for signature:

“Today is a proud moment for our state as we celebrate creating paid leave laws across Illinois. Because of this legislation, more than 11 million hardworking Illinoisans will have access to paid leave at their place of employment that they once did not have. Our employees are not only the backbone of our economy, but the backbone of their families and our communities, and they all deserve paid time off.

I’m grateful to leaders in the business and labor communities who came together to make this historic legislation a reality, including the Illinois State AFL-CIO, SEIU, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Manufacturers Association, AFSCME, UFCW, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to the advocates and organizations who have made their voices heard in this fight for years, especially those with the Shriver Center for Poverty Law and Women Employed.

This legislation will help make our state a more livable, desirable place for workers of all trades and industries, and sends a strong message that Illinois is a place that not only values the contributions of our employees at their place of work, but as they build a life for themselves and their families.”

SB208 creates paid leave laws across Illinois by requiring all employers to provide a minimum of 40 hours (or five days) of paid leave per year to be used for any reason. It also allows for unused paid leave to carry over annually, up to 40 hours.


  1. - Horseshoe Voter - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:06 pm:

    Sen. Lightford can negotiate anything she puts her mind to!

  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    Wow, this is big, is there a lower age limit on this. Also I would be curious what the implications are if the employer doesn’t let you take the leave.

  3. - toddaf - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    So how does this affect employers who already provide paid vacation and/or personal days to employees? Is this paid leave something they have to provide separate from vacation or personal time?

  4. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:20 pm:


    From the key components of SB208:
    Employers that violate the act would be subject to penalties, including fines and compensatory damages for the affected employee.

  5. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:22 pm:

    Effective January 1, 2024

  6. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:23 pm:

    Women Employed should get a lot of credit for carrying this torch for many, many years. It’s so great to see this finally get across the finish line.

  7. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    Another real world benefit for the workers of Illinois…thanks to the Pritzker administration.

  8. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    Forty hours per year isn’t much but it’s a start. The U.S. lags far behind most other countries with regard to paid leave for workers. Employees often have to make difficult decisions out of fear they’ll be terminated and that’s not right.

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:38 pm:

    ===Effective January 1, 2024===

    Proving once again that some people will complain about anything.

  10. - LBR - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:46 pm:

    I give major kudos to Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth. She never gave up on this issue.

  11. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    Proving once again that some people will complain about anything.

    No complaint, just a point of fact for those who need to provide benefits to employees.

  12. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    “We appreciate the work put into this from all stakeholders, including business and labor, to bring us to this moment.”

    Good work by all to negotiate this. First World counties provide or allow for good benefits for workers. America is maybe the only major country without guaranteed leave or paid leave from work. Not surprising, since we’re also the only one without universal health insurance. Right wing economics is a global-scale failure for workers.

  13. - The Office - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    ==…thanks to the Pritzker administration.==

    Don’t discount the work of the Sponsors on this. The JB admin did not have much, if any, involvement

  14. - West Suburban Ladi - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 3:17 pm:

    What a wonderful accomplishment! I wonder if this extends to rail workers who reside in Illinois or are they exempt, sadly, due to the Railway Labor Act.

  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===just a point of fact for those who need to provide benefits to employees. ===

    Yeah, I’m sure you believe business owners EVERYWHERE are flocking to this blog to take the advice of an anonymous commenter.

    Give it a rest, already.

  16. - Blue Dog - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 6:02 pm:

    a one size solution is never the answer.

  17. - Who else - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 6:18 pm:

    I’ve got great news for Blue Dog: municipalities are welcome to ensure workers get more days off that’s what works best for their communities.

  18. - Blue Dog - Wednesday, Jan 11, 23 @ 7:01 pm:

    I’m a big advocate for bargaining. but let’s not become Framce or Spain.

  19. - Suburban Mom - Thursday, Jan 12, 23 @ 9:24 am:

    ==let’s not become Framce or Spain.===

    Definitely not. Italy is the goal: They get SO many holidays off, and yearly paid leave that must be taken in a chunk, and paid sick leave and vacation time. My colleagues disappear for a month at a time, it’s amazing.

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