United States: If Pain, Yes Gain—Part XXXI: Grab Your First Aid Kit, Chicago Draft Sick Leave Rules Have Arrived

Seyfarth Synopsis: After months of anticipation and without much notice, Chicago has published its long-awaited draft paid sick leave rules. The Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance is set to become effective on July 1, 2017.

While no amount of multivitamins or antibiotics will save employers from the impending Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance ("PSLO"),[1] on May 22, 2017, the City of Chicago provided businesses with some relief in the form of draft paid sick leave rules (the "Draft Rules").   The city will be accepting public comments on the Draft Rules until June 16, 2017—a mere two weeks before the PSLO goes into effect.

On July 1, Cook County, IL will join Chicago as the only municipalities in the state of Illinois with paid sick leave ordinances that are in effect.  Cook County's draft sick leave regulations were released in mid-April 2017 and the County is expected to release final regulations by June 1.  We, of course, will keep you posted on these future developments.

In the meantime, here are some of the highlights of the Chicago Draft Rules and what employers need to know about interaction between the Chicago PSLO and the Cook County Sick Leave Ordinance.

  • Conflicts Between Chicago PSLO and Cook County Sick Leave Ordinance: Article VII, Section 6(c) of the Illinois Constitution states that "if a home rule county ordinance conflicts with an ordinance of a municipality, the municipal ordinance shall prevail within its jurisdiction."  Therefore, to the extent the Chicago PSLO and Cook County sick leave ordinance impose differing obligations on covered Chicago employers, it is likely that the Chicago PSLO will govern. Unfortunately for covered Chicago employers that are also covered employers under the Cook County ordinance for locations outside of the City of Chicago, the Illinois Constitution's language does not provide a remedy for reconciling distinctions between the laws.
  • Exclusions and Union Employees: The Draft Rules list several types of workers that are excluded from the PSLO. Notably, the Draft Rules clarify that the PSLO does not apply to hours worked by employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") in force on July 1, 2017.  Employees covered by CBAs entered into after June 30, 2017 will be entitled to the PSLO's benefits (assuming they otherwise satisfy the law's eligibility and coverage standards) unless the CBA expressly waives the PSLO's requirements in clear and unambiguous terms.
  • Accrual of Paid Sick Leave: Under the PSLO, eligible employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of at least one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. The Draft Rules confirm that only hours worked within the City of Chicago count toward accrual of paid sick leave. Moreover, employers are not required to allow accrual of paid sick leave when an employee is absent on paid or unpaid leave.
  • Frontloading Paid Sick Leave: A major development in the Draft Rules is the language discussing covered employers' ability to comply with the PSLO via a frontloaded lump grant system.  The Draft Rules state that employers may choose to immediately grant their employees paid sick leave or PTO at the start of the benefit year in lieu of following an accrual model.  In particular, the Draft Rules explain that if an employer frontloads its newly hired employees a 40-hour lump grant of paid leave within 180 days of the employees' start of employment, and 60 hours of paid leave at the start of each subsequent benefit year, then the employer is not required to track sick leave accrual or follow the PSLO's complicated year-end carryover obligations.  Note that the paid leave must be available for use in the manner at least as set forth in the PSLO.  This is in contrast with the Cook County Sick Leave Ordinance which requires employers to frontload 100 hours to remove carryover obligations.
  • Year-End Carryover: Where an employer opts to follow an accrual system, it must still follow the PSLO's carryover requirements.  The PSLO provides that employees must be allowed to carry over to the following benefit year half of their unused, accrued sick leave, up to a maximum of 20 hours.  Where an employer is subject to the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), employees are allowed to carry over up to 40 hours of additional unused, accrued sick leave (i.e., 60 total hours) into the subsequent year.  There is language in the PSLO stating that certain amounts of this carried over time must be used exclusively for FMLA-eligible purposes.
    • Draft Rules: The Draft Rules explain that employers who are subject to the PSLO's carryover requirements must round up any odd number of unused paid sick leave at year-end to the next even number.  This will allow the employer to ensure that employees carryover full increments of unused sick leave.  In addition, while the Draft Rules suggest that employees have the option of carrying over unused paid sick leave for use under the PSLO or for use under the FMLA, an employer can require that employees notify the employer of this choice at the start of the benefit year.
  • Annual Usage Cap: While the PSLO states that an employee is entitled to use no more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in a given year, the Draft Rules state, without reference to the PSLO's FMLA exception, that a covered employee may use a maximum annual amount of 60 hours of paid sick leave.  The Draft Rules explicitly allow an employer that grants its workers greater paid sick leave hours than the PSLO's minimum requirement to limit the PSLO-required usage standards to the number of hours guaranteed by the PSLO.
  • Covered Family Member: The PSLO contains a broad list of covered family members, which includes, among other relationships, any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. The Draft Rules expressly state that family member may also include a godchild, godparent, and co-parent.
  • Payment of Sick Leave: The Draft Rules state that paid sick leave must be paid no later than the next regular payroll period beginning after the paid sick leave was used by the employee.
  • Reinstatement of Unused Sick Leave Upon Rehire: Unlike many paid sick leave laws and ordinances, the PSLO lacks a provision discussing whether an employer must reinstate its employees earned, unused paid sick leave if they are rehired within a certain amount of time after separation of employment. The Draft Rules, however, clarify this grey area and note that employers have discretion when deciding whether previously earned, unused paid sick leave becomes available to a covered employee upon rehire.
  • Notice and Posting Requirements: The Draft Rules state that the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection shall prepare a model notice employers can use to comply with the PSLO's notice and posting requirements.  The model notice will be published on the city's minimum wage website, presumably before the July 1 effective date.
  • Recordkeeping Requirements: The PSLO is silent on covered employers' specific recordkeeping obligations. The Draft Rules break this silence and note that employers must maintain at least 12 different types of records for a period of not less than five years.  Among the required records are the date each covered employee was eligible to use paid sick leave and the dates and number of hours each covered employee used paid sick leave.

Chicago employers should take steps now to ensure that they will be able to achieve full compliance with the PSLO by the July 1, 2017 effective date.  These are among the actions to consider:

  • Review existing policies and procedures immediately to ensure that they meet at least the minimum requirements or develop a new paid sick leave policy that complies with the PSLO.
  • Determine whether to have a single combined policy or separate policies for Chicago and Cook County locations.
  • Review and, as necessary, revise anti-retaliation, attendance, conduct, and discipline policies to prevent retaliation against employees for taking paid sick leave.
  • Prepare to comply with the PSLO's posting and notification requirements and monitor the city's minimum wage website for model notices and other sick leave guidance and updates.
  • Train supervisory and managerial employees, as well as HR, on the PSLO requirements.
  • Await further guidance, including final rules regulations, from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and update policies and practices to comply with any finalized advice.

With the paid sick leave landscape continuing to expand and grow in complexity, companies should reach out to their Seyfarth contact for solutions and recommendations on addressing compliance with this law and sick leave requirements generally.  To stay up-to-date on Paid Sick Leave developments, click here to sign up for Seyfarth's Paid Sick Leave mailing list.


[1] For more information, see our prior alert on the Chicago PSLO.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Proskauer Rose LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Proskauer Rose LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions