HR Alert

City of Chicago Adopts Final Paid Sick Leave Rules

Notices Also Available for Employer Use

The City of Chicago has adopted final rules under the city's paid sick leave ordinance, and has also released notices for employer use. Highlights of the final rules are presented below.

Under the final rules, instead of following an accrual model, employers may choose to immediately grant their covered employees their paid sick leave at the beginning of employment or the benefit year (i.e., frontloading). Frontloading done in the manner explained in the rules (section: 3.05) relieves the employer from having to follow the accrual and carryover model.

If an employer grants covered employees 40 hours of paid sick leave no later than 180 days after the covered employee began working for the employer, and the employer is not subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), then the employer is not required to provide additional paid leave under the city ordinance.

Click here (section: section: 3.05, 3.07, and 3.08(d)) for information on the interaction between the city's paid sick leave ordinance and the FMLA.

Employers must maintain (at a minimum) certain records for covered employees, for a period of at least 5 years. Such records include (among other things) the date each covered employee was eligible to use paid sick leave; the number of hours of paid sick leave accrued by or awarded to each covered employee; and the dates and number of hours each covered employee used paid sick leave. Click here (section: 1.06) for the complete list of required records.

Payment of Paid Sick Leave and Other Provisions
Paid sick leave must be paid no later than the next regular payroll period beginning after the paid sick leave was used by the employee. An employer may not request a covered employee to waive the right to take sick leave in exchange for receiving payment for unused sick leave. (As a reminder, employers are generally not required to pay out any accrued and unused paid sick leave upon a covered employee's termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.)

Additionally, only hours worked within the City of Chicago count toward accrual of paid sick leave.

Further details are contained in the text of the final rules.

Background and Notice Requirements
In Chicago, effective as of July 1, 2017, any covered employee (section: 1-24-010) who works at least 80 hours for an employer within any 120-day period is eligible for paid sick leave under the city's ordinance. 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 one hour of paid sick leave. Paid sick leave accrues only in hourly increments--there are no fractional accruals. Click here to read the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

Employers generally must post in a conspicuous place at each facility where any covered employee works (that is located within the geographic boundaries of Chicago) a notice advising the covered employee of the current Chicago minimum wage and of his or her rights under the law, including the right to paid sick leave. Employers must also give covered employees a notice with the first paycheck subject to Chapter 1-24 (the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance). Such notice must advise the covered employee of the current Chicago minimum wage and of his or her rights under the ordinance, including the right to paid sick leave.

Minimum wage notices (in English, Spanish, and Polish) are available by clicking here, and the paid sick leave notice is available by clicking here. Additional information and resources are also available. The ordinance and final rules are currently in effect.

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