Last year, Cook County and Chicago passed matching sick leave ordinances. Both ordinances have effective dates of July 1, 2017 and are detailed below.
Employees qualify for sick leave under the ordinances if they work at least 80 hours for a covered business in any 120-day period and perform at least two hours of that work in Cook County or Chicago during any two week period.
The ordinances do not apply to collective bargaining agreements which are in place before July 1, 2017. For collective bargaining agreements ratified after July 1, 2017, employees governed by these agreements will be entitled to the paid sick leave required by the ordinances, unless the employees clearly waive their rights under the ordinances in that collective bargaining agreement.
Sick Leave Accrual and Entitlement
Qualifying employees begin to accrue paid sick leave on July 1, 2017, or the first day after they start employment, if hired after July 1. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. The ordinances specifies that there shall be no fractional accruals. For example, an employee who works 100 hours only accrues two hours of leave, not 2.5, but will have accrued 3 hours of paid leave once they work 120 hours. Exempt employees can be defaulted to 40 hours.
The ordinance permits businesses to cap paid sick leave at 40 hours per 12-month period based on anniversary. Employees can carry over up to 20 hours to the subsequent 12-month period (subject to the 40-hour cap). If an employee qualifies for FMLA, he or she may carry over up to 40 hours of additional paid leave (beyond the 20 hours mentioned above) exclusively for FMLA purposes.
Employers need not pay out any unused sick leave as cash upon termination or restore unused leave for rehired or reinstated employees.
Employees must have the ability to begin using accrued paid sick leave no later than their 180th calendar day after their employment commences. Employees can use the leave for their own illness, injury, or medical care, or for that of covered family members. Employees may also use paid sick leave if the employee or a family member is a victim of domestic violence or a sex offense, or if the employee’s place of business or child care facility has been closed due to a public health emergency.
Covered businesses may require employees to provide seven days of notice prior to taking paid sick leave, only if the need for the leave is foreseeable. Otherwise, employees may provide notice as soon as practicable. Businesses also may require the employee to certify that leave is for a qualifying purpose, but only if the employee requires more than three consecutive leave days. Businesses cannot require the certification to specify the nature of the medical issue necessitating the leave.
Existing PTO Policies
If an employer currently has a policy that grants employees paid time off in a manner consistent with the new ordinances, it need not provide additional paid leave. It will, however, need to conform its policy to meet the requirements of these new ordinances
Starting on July 1, 2017, covered businesses must conspicuously post a notice describing employee rights under the ordinances. Businesses must post this notice in each facility where any eligible employee works.
Please contact your Paylocity Account Manager should you have any questions.