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Rules for Illinois’ Paid Leave for All Workers Act on hold amid concerns

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(The Center Square) – Additional time is being given for rules to come together in implementing Illinois’ Paid Leave for All Workers Act.

The measure passed in January 2023 and took effect last month. It mandates that every employee in the state gets up to 40 hours of paid leave a year, or one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked.

Starting on March 31, or 90 days following commencement of employment, the Illinois Department of Labor announced workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason “without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer.”

Business groups largely opposed the measure.

During a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hearing last week, state Rep. Curtis Tarver, D-Chicago, told the department it did poor outreach to minority business groups.

“And that’s a problem. Because the diversity of this state should be reflective of your outreach,” Tarver said.

Tuesday, the Illinois Municipal League’s Brad Cole promoted legislation to exempt municipalities.

“We think that this is something, not unlike all the private businesses and other entities out there, it’s going to have a financial impact,” Cole said. “Also, just the administrative impact on local governments. Some of these communities are very small. They don’t have the big back office to do stuff and it’s going to be tough to comply. We’re trying to comply nonetheless.”

Cole said the department improperly changed the law through rule making.

During JCAR’s hearing last week, the Illinois Department of Labor said municipalities had to approve paid leave before Jan. 1 to be exempt.

State Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, said to expect a fight.

“I can’t speak for IML but from what I can read in their concerns, they have every intention of challenging this at every level,” DeWitte said.

The rules for the act are on hold until JCAR meets next month.

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