HR Alert

Illinois: Cook County Adopts Final Rules for Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Model Notice Also Available

Cook County has adopted final rules for its Earned ("Paid") Sick Leave Ordinance, and has released a model notice for employer use. Highlights of the final rules are presented below.

Accrual: Only for Work Performed in Cook County
Under the final rules, beginning on the date of initial accrual, a covered employee starts accruing paid sick leave based on work for a covered employer that is performed within the geographic boundaries of Cook County. A covered employer is not required to award paid sick leave to a covered employee for--or on the basis of--work performed outside of Cook County or within the geographic boundaries of a municipality that has lawfully preempted the ordinance. Employers are encouraged to check with their municipalities for additional details.

Alternative to Accrual and Carryover: Front-Loading Both
Under the final rules, for ease of administration, covered employers may choose to immediately grant at the beginning of each accrual period the maximum annual amount to which their covered employees could be entitled for both accrual during the current accrual period and carryover from the prior accrual period.

Model Notice Available
Every covered employer generally must post in a conspicuous place at each place of business where any covered employee works within the geographic boundaries of Cook County a notice advising covered employees of their rights under the ordinance. Additionally, every covered employer must also provide to every covered employee a notice of rights advising each covered employee of his or her rights under the ordinance by the later of each covered employee's date of coverage or date of eligibility, and at least once per calendar year thereafter.

A "Model Earned Sick Leave Notice for Employees - Workplace Poster" is available on the county's website (see the "Downloads" section). The model notice can be used for both posting and for providing written notice to individual employees.

Under the Cook County Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, effective July 1, 2017, any covered employee who works at least 80 hours within any 120-day period for an employer with a place of business within Cook County is eligible for paid sick leave. Paid sick leave begins to accrue either on the first calendar day after the commencement of a covered employee's employment or on July 1, 2017, whichever is later. For every 40 hours worked after a covered employee's paid sick leave begins to accrue, he or she accrues 1 hour of paid sick leave.

For each covered employee, there is a cap of 40 hours of paid sick leave accrued per 12-month period, unless his or her employer sets a higher limit. The 12-month period for a covered employee is calculated from the date he or she began to accrue paid sick leave. At the end of a covered employee's 12-month accrual period, he or she is generally allowed to carry over to the following 12-month period half of his or her unused accrued paid sick leave, up to a maximum of 20 hours.

For additional information, including details on employer and employee coverage, use of sick leave, and recordkeeping, please view the ordinance and final rules (see the "Downloads" section). While the rules are effective immediately, they will have no practical impact until the effective date of the ordinance on July 1, 2017.

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