Illinois Becomes the Third State to Require Employee Paid Time Off for Any Reason

SPRINGFIELD – In January 2024, Illinois employers of any size will be required to allow employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid time off per year – the most expansive PTO requirement in the nation.

The employees taking advantage of the time off will not need to give reason for their absence, such as being ill or simply taking a day off. They are asked only to provide notice “in accordance with reasonable employer standards” – a vague term that will likely be open for interpretation.


What this new policy means for IL employees


Jeralyn Bernas, who heads TMA’s HR Community, explained on HMB Legal Counsel’s website the notification details in light of Illinois’ new Paid Leave law:

Employers will still be permitted to enforce a reasonable paid leave notification policy that requires their employees to provide an oral or written paid leave request.

·       If the leave is foreseeable, the employer will be permitted to require a 7-day calendar days’ notice

·       If the leave is not foreseeable, the employer will be permitted to require an employee to provide such notices as soon as practicable after the employee is aware of the need for the leave

·       If an employer changes its notification policy, it must notify the employees of the change within 5 calendar days

Employers may not require the employees to find a substitute or replacement worker.

In addition, Illinois’ law extends to all Illinois businesses – personnel size doesn’t matter. That provision makes Illinois’ new law surpass Maine and Nevada’s requirements, the only two other states with similar PTO mandates.

A company’s employees can start using the accrued time of one hour off for every 40 hours worked after they’ve been employed 90 days.

Seasonal workers, college students that work part-time for their universities, federal employees and a few others are exempt from Illinois’ new law.

Penalties for ignoring new Illinois law in effect January 1, 2024

There is a first-time fine of $500 and $1000 for subsequent violations of not posting the new state law that goes into effect January 1, 2024. Other employer financial obligations may result if employees are denied the required time off or legal counsel is sought.

The Technology & Manufacturing Association opposed this legislation, Senate Bill 208, as it moved through the Illinois General Assembly, and before it was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker in January 2023. SB 208 is included in TMA’s 2022 Legislative Scorecard.

For more information on the Paid Time Off state law, check with your company’s HR legal counsel or reach out to TMA at for legal resource suggestions. 

From TMA’s March/April 2023 News Bulletin