New Chicago Ordinance Requires Employers to Give Eligible Employees 40 Hours Paid Leave and 40 Hours Paid Sick Leave Per Year

The Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance expands upon the current ordinance and goes into effect December 31, 2023. This ordinance will require employers with at least one eligible employee to provide all eligible employees with forty hours paid leave and forty hours paid sick leave per year. Employers may either front-load these hours or require employees to accrue the time. If the hours are accrued, employees must accrue one hour of paid leave and one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty-five hours worked, and the hours only accrue in one-hour increments. An employee can accrue up to forty hours paid leave and forty hours paid sick leave per twelve-month period under the ordinance. If the hours are front-loaded, the employer must give them at the beginning of the twelve-month period, and employees must be allowed to carry over to the next year up to sixteen hours of paid leave and eighty hours of paid sick leave. Employers are permitted to adopt policies governing leave, and may require employees to give up to seven days’ prior notice for use of paid leave or paid sick leave (if reasonably foreseeable), and can also require preapproval of paid leave. Employees must be given written notice of the leave policy and of any amendments to it. Depending on the firm’s size, the employer may also be required to provide employees with all accrued and unused paid leave upon employment termination. Employers must give employees notice of their rights under the ordinance, and the City of Chicago will provide a form notice at a later date that meets ordinance requirements. Employers will also be required to give employees a balance of their paid leave and paid sick leave at every pay period. If employers do not comply with the ordinance, they may be fined between $1,000 and $3,000 for each offense and can also be liable for treble damages to the employee, as well as interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees. Private causes of action for violations of the ordinance’s paid sick leave provisions will be available beginning December 31, 2023, while private causes of action for violation of the paid leave provisions will be available starting January 1, 2025. Therefore, it is in employers’ best interests to review their current leave policies before the ordinance goes into effect on December 31, 2023 to ensure compliance.  If you have questions, please contact Michael Haeberle at

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