Windy City Joins Locales With Paid Sick Leave Laws; New Guaranteed Benefit Starts in July 2017

Guaranteed paid sick leave is coming to Chicago.

The city council on June 22 approved a paid sick leave law that starting next July will give all workers the right to 5 days of paid sick leave each year.

Under this ordinance–which passed 48 to 0:

  • workers would be able to accrue and use up to five earned sick days over the course of one year; earn sick time at a rate of one hour earned for every 40 hours worked;
  • workers would be able to roll over up to 2.5 days unused sick days to the following year;
  • new employees can use accrued sick leave after an initial six month probationary period, and employers that offer combined leave benefits such as Paid Time Off (PTO) are exempt from these requirements so long as employees could accrue and use up to five days of PTO within a calendar year;
  • employers would not be required pay out of unused sick days; and
  • sick leave benefits that are negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement are exempt.

According to a press release issued by the city, the ordinance is more business friendly than sick leave ordinances adopted by other cities and has a nominal cost to employers. A cost model developed by the Civic Consulting Alliance found that this framework will lead to a less than 0.7-1.5 percent increase in labor costs for most employers.

For a list of states and cities with paid sick leave laws, try this.

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