Amendments to Employee Sick Leave Act

On January 13, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation (S.B. 2799) amending the Employee Sick Leave Act (ESLA). The ESLA went into effect on January 1, 2017 and requires employers to allow employees to use at least a portion of the sick leave time that is already available to them, under certain existing employer policies, to care for certain relatives.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Revises the definition of “personal sick leave benefits.”
  • Provides that an employment benefit plan or paid time off policy does not include long term disability, short term disability, an insurance policy, or other comparable benefit plan or policy.
  • Adds a stepchild and domestic partner to the list of persons for whom an employee may use personal sick leave benefits.
  • Provides that an employer may request written verification of the employee’s absence from a health care professional if such verification is required under the employer’s employment benefit plan or paid time off policy.
  • Provides that for employers who base personal sick leave benefits on an employee’s years of service instead of annual or monthly accrual, such employer may limit the amount of sick leave to be used under the act to half of the employee’s maximum annual grant.
  • Prohibits retaliation.
  • Provides that the ESLA does not apply to:
    • An employee of an employer subject to certain provisions of the Railway Labor Act; or
    • An employer or employee as defined in either the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act or the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.
  • Provides that the ESLA does not affect collective-bargaining agreements on any party’s power to collectively bargain.
  • Grants the Illinois Department of Labor rulemaking authority.

The bill went into effect upon signing.

Read IL S.B. 2799