City of Chicago Commuter Benefits
Effective January 1, 2024, the City of Chicago Transportation Benefits Program Act will go into effect. The Act enhances commuter benefits and promotes sustainable transportation options for employees. The Act applies to employers with at least 50 covered employees in a geographic area specified in the Act at an address located within one mile of a transit service location. Covered areas include the City of Chicago, as well as most of its suburbs, including those in Cook County. The pre-tax commuter benefit requires covered employers to allow eligible employees to use pre-tax dollars for the purchase of a transit pass, via payroll deduction. A covered employer may also comply with the Act by participating in a program offered by the Chicago Transit Authority or the Regional Transportation Authority.
Full-time employees working at least 35 hours per week are eligible for the benefit following 120 days of employment.
Covered areas include the City of Chicago, as well as most of its suburbs, including those in Cook County (see details below).
- The following townships: Warren Township in Lake County; Grant Township in Lake County; Frankfort Township in Will County; Wheatland Township in Will County; Addison Township; Bloomingdale Township; York Township; Milton Township; Winfield Township; Downers Grove Township; Lisle Township; Naperville Township; Dundee Township; Elgin Township; St. Charles Township; Geneva Township; Batavia Township; Aurora Township; Zion Township; Benton Township; Waukegan Township; Avon Township; Libertyville Township; Shields Township; Vernon Township; West Deerfield Township; Deerfield Township; McHenry Township; Nunda Township; Algonquin Township; DuPage Township; Homer Township; Lockport Township; Plainfield Township; New Lenox Township; Joliet Township; and Troy Township.
Illinois Expands Bereavement Leave
1. Child Bereavement Leave for Suicide or Homicide
Effective January 1, 2024, the Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act (SB2034) will go into effect in Illinois. The Act entitles employees who experience the loss of their child by suicide or homicide to take unpaid leave from work to grieve the loss of that child, which includes an employee’s biological, adopted, foster, or stepchild, legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis. This Act expands unpaid bereavement leave rights to employees currently provided under the Illinois Family Bereavement Leave Act.
All employers with at least 50 full-time employees in Illinois are covered by the Act. The length of the leave entitlement differs based on whether the employer has 250 or more full-time employees in Illinois (considered a large employer) or at least 50 but fewer than 250 full-time employees (considered a small employer). All full-time employees who have worked for their employer for at least 2 weeks are eligible for bereavement leave under the Act.
Eligible employees of “large” employers are entitled to use up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the loss of their child by suicide or homicide. Eligible employees of “small” employers are entitled to use up to 6 weeks of unpaid leave following the loss of their child by suicide or homicide.
2. Leave for Family Members of Those Killed in Crimes of Violence
Effective January 1, 2024, Illinois HB 2493 amends the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA). VESSA applies to employers with at least 1 (one) employee in IL (private employers, local government, and school districts). VESSA entitles employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, or gender violence (or whose family members or household members are victims of such violence) to take unpaid leave from work to address issues related to the violence.
The amendment expands or modifies aspects of leave available under VESSA. The law will now permit employees to take up to two weeks (10 workdays) of unpaid leave related to the death of a family member or household member who is killed in a crime of violence to (1) attend the funeral, funeral alternative, or wake, (2) make arrangements necessitated by the death, and (3) grieve the death of the lost family member or household member.
Leave must be taken within 60 days after the date on which the employee receives notice of the death of the victim.