New Law Amends Employee Sick Leave Act

On Jan. 13, 2017, Gov. Rauner signed SB 2799 into law, creating Public Act 99-0921, which amends the recently-enacted Employee Sick Leave Act (covered in the Aug. 23, 2016, edition of Compliance Corner).

As background, the Employee Sick Leave Act (the Act) went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, and provides flexibility for caregivers by providing that employees may use personal sick leave benefits provided by the employer for absences due to an illness, injury or medical appointment of the employee's family member.

The amendments or clarifications in this new Act are as follows:

  • Revises the definition of "personal sick leave benefits" to include paid or unpaid time accrued and available to an employee, as provided through an employment benefit plan or policy;
  • 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 stepchildren and domestic partners 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;
  • Allows employers who base personal sick leave benefits on an employee's years of service instead of annual or monthly accrual to limit the amount of sick leave to be used under the law to half of the employee's maximum annual grant;
  • In a provision prohibiting retaliation, it provides that nothing prohibits an employer from applying the terms and conditions set forth in the employment benefit plan or paid time off policy applicable to personal sick leave benefits;
  • Stipulates that the law does not apply to an employee of an employer subject to certain provisions of the Railway Labor Act, or to an employer or employee as defined in either the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act or the Federal Employers' Liability Act;
  • Provides that the law does not affect collective-bargaining agreements or any party’s power to collectively bargain; and
  • Grants the Illinois Department of Labor rulemaking authority.

As stated above, the Act went into effect Jan. 13, 2017. The implementation of the Act may require affected employers to review and revise their benefit policies to be compliant with these new requirements.

Public Act 99-0921 »
Employee Sick Leave Act FAQs »