On November 9, 2023, the Chicago City Council passed the Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance. This impacts employers located within the City of Chicago and employers that have employees that work in the City of Chicago two or more hours.
Beginning on January 1, 2024, the new ordinance requires that all employers, with one or more employees, provide employees with 10 paid leave days. The new law is not only applicable to employers that are located in Chicago but also covers any employee that spends two or more hours performing work or traveling for work in the city. The traveling time must be compensable working time and does not include commuting time.
The City of Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance amends the previous sick leave ordinance to give employees an opportunity to earn up to ten paid days off in a 12-month period in two separate categories of paid time off. To add to the complexity, the categories both come with different requirements for notice, usage, and payout. The first category is a general paid leave category, and the second category is paid sick leave category. Employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave and 1 hour of paid leave for every 35 hours that they work. Salary exempt employees are presumed to work 40 hours per week. Accrual begins on January 1, 2024, or on their first day of employment, whichever is later. However, after this the two leave laws begin to diverge. As such, a breakdown of each is the only way to parse any logic out of a confusing act.
Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”)
Paid Sick Leave can be taken for the treatment of both an employee as well as a family member’s illness or injury. The PSL also allows the employee to use their time to seek treatment, protections, and services if they or their family members are a victim of domestic violence. The Paid Sick Leave can also be taken under certain emergent public health situations relating to mandated closures etc.
Employees are eligible to use their PSL on the 30th calendar day after January 1 or the start of their employment, whichever is later. PSL may be taken in as little as 2-hour increments and employees are allowed to carry over up to 80 hours of PSL. The PSL time is not required to be paid out at the time of separation.
Paid Leave Days (“PLD”)
Paid Leave Days are like vacation days, and the employee can take the PLD for any reason. Unlike the PSL, employees are eligible to use their PLD time after 90 days of employment. PLD may be taken in as little as 4-hour increments and employees can carry over up to 16 hours of paid leave time. Carry over component is not required if leave is frontloaded. Employers can require an employee to give reasonable notice, which may not exceed seven days before using a PLD. Just like the PSL, employees cannot be forced to find a replacement worker or give information as to why they are requesting the PLD.
After separation of employment, an employee may be entitled to a payout of unused PLD time. The ordinance has a sliding scale for such a payout:
Small businesses (50 or less employees)
- No Payout
Medium businesses (51-100 employees) (2 year phased approach)
- Phase 1: 12/31/2023-12/31/2024
Up to 16 hours of PLD must be paid out.
- Phase 2: 1/1/2025 and thereafter
All unused PLD must be paid out.
Large businesses (101 plus employees)
- Payout any unused, accrued PLD effective 1/1/24.
A carry-over component is not required if the leave is frontloaded. The new Chicago Ordinance also recognizes an unlimited PTO option that also allows for circumvention of the carryover requirements. However, the ordinance presumes that an employee who is under an “unlimited” amount of PTO policy, will be entitled to receive 40 hours of PTO upon termination unless there is a record of actual use of at least 40 hours in the 12-month period prior to employment separation.
Employers that have employees who work in Chicago should review their current sick leave and paid leave policies carefully to assess whether they comply with the requirements of this new law. The new Chicago ordinance has significant differences from both the earlier paid sick leave ordinance and the new statewide Paid Leave for All Workers Act that is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
EEOC Opens EEO-1 Reporting Portal for 2022 Workforce Data
The portal for private sector employers to submit equal employment opportunity (EEO-1) workforce data from 2022 to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has opened as of Oct. 31, 2023.
The deadline for submissions is Dec. 5, 2023.
Employers Subject to EEO-1 Reporting
In general, a private sector employer is subject to EEO-1 reporting if it:
- Has 100 or more employees.
- Has 15-99 employees and is part of a group of employers with 100 or more employees: or
- Is a federal contractor with 50 or more employees and a contract of $50,000 or more.
Although the EEOC sends notification letters to employers it knows to be subject to the EEO-1 requirements, all employers are responsible for obtaining and submitting the necessary information prior to the appropriate deadline.
2023 EEO-1 Submission Date - March 31, 2024
The deadline for submission of EEO-1 data from 2023. The law requires employers to submit reports by March 31 every year. Collections of 2019-2022 data were delayed due to COVID-19 and other factors.