United States: If Pain, Yes Gain—Part XXXIII: Sick Of This Yet? Chicago Releases Final Sick Leave Rules And Model Notice

Seyfarth Synopsis: With the July 1, 2017 effective date only two days away, Chicago has at long last published its final paid sick leave rules.  These rules, along with the city's model notice, should be incorporated into employers' sick leave programs as they prepare for compliance.

On June 28, 2017, Chicago released its final paid sick leave rules (the "Final Rules"). The Final Rules were issued after the conclusion of a public comment period on Chicago's draft sick leave rules.  Employers should assess and take the Final Rules into account as they prepare for the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance's ("PSLO") July 1, 2017 effective date.

On July 1, Chicago will join Cook County in moving forward with its paid sick leave requirements for covered employers.  Cook County released its own final paid sick leave rules earlier this month. 

Chicago also recently published a model notice that employers can use to satisfy the PSLO's notice and posting requirements. As a reminder, the PSLO requires employers to provide employees with individualized notice of certain sick leave rights when the first paycheck subject to the PSLO is issued to employees.  In addition, employers must post the model notice in a conspicuous place at their Chicago business facilities. Interplay with Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance: One antidote prescribed by the Final Rules is guidance on how employers should handle the overlapping Chicago and Cook County paid sick leave requirements.  The Final Rules expressly state that "[i]n the case of a conflict between the [PSLO] and the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, the [PSLO] shall prevail within the City."

  • "Calendar Year" and "Benefit Year" Definitions: The Final Rules define the terms "calendar year" and "benefit year" as follows: (a) "Calendar year" means twelve calendar months beginning at any point; and (b) "Benefit year" means the period that an employer sets so that all employees are synchronized to have benefits granted at the same time.
  • Union Employees: The Final Rules confirm the city's draft paid sick leave rules' provision about employer obligations with respect to union employees. The Final Rules explain 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.
  • "Paid Time Off": The Final Rules define the term "paid time off" to include time that an employer provides to an employee that can be used for any and all reasons in the PSLO, as well as other reasons. The Final Rules explain that where an employer's Paid Time Off policy meets or exceeds the PSLO's requirements on (1) accrual / grant of hours of paid sick leave, (2) carryover of paid sick leave from one year to the next, and (3) usage of paid sick leave, the employer does not need to provide additional leave "or [follow] the record requirements." Importantly, the Final Rules expressly state that "other requirements of the [PSLO]...must still be followed."
  •  Accrual of Sick Time: The Final Rules note that only hours worked within the City of Chicago count toward accrual of paid sick leave and that employers are not required to allow accrual of paid sick leave when an employee is absent on paid or unpaid leave.
  • Salaried, Exempt Employees: Notably, the Final Rules state that salaried, exempt employees should accrue one hour of paid sick leave for each week of employment. However, where "the salaried position is for an amount different from 40 hours worked per week,...the rate of accrual shall be 1 hour for every 40 hours of salaried work."
  • Frontloading and Usage of Sick Leave: The Final Rules explain that employers subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") can avoid the PSLO's accrual and carryover requirements if they (a) grant covered employees 40 hours of paid sick leave no later than 180 days after the covered employee began working for the employer, and (b) make available an additional 20 hours of paid sick leave at the beginning of each subsequent benefit year to be used for FMLA purposes. In other words, the Final Rules state that employers that frontload their employees with 60 hours of paid sick leave at the start of each year will be able to avoid the PSLO's carryover and accrual requirements.  Where employers do not allow employees to use the full 60-hour grant of paid sick leave for all protected reasons, including those under the FMLA, the Final Rules include complex language about tracking the reasons for which the paid sick leave is used.
  • Year-End Carryover: The Final Rules state that employers must allow newly hired employees to carry over all of their earned, unused paid sick leave, up to 20 hours, at year-end. In other words, when dealing with new hires employers cannot take advantage of the PSLO's normal carryover provision where the unused balance gets halved. In addition, the Final Rules reiterate that a maximum of 20 hours of regular paid sick leave and 40 hours of paid sick leave for FMLA purposes may be carried over from one year to the next if a covered employee works for an employer that is subject to FMLA.
  • 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 Final Rules confirm that, as was noted in the city's draft paid sick leave rules, family member may also include a godchild, godparent, and co-parent.
  • Payment of Sick Time: Employers are required to pay employees for used paid sick leave no later than the next regular payroll period beginning after the use of sick leave.
  • Commissioned Employees: The Final Rules state that for employees who are paid on a commission basis, whether base wage plus commission or commission only, the employer must pay the employees for used paid sick leave at the hourly rate of pay based on the base wage or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is greater.
  • No Reinstatement Upon Rehire: The Final Rules confirm that, unlike many paid sick leave laws and ordinances, employers have discretion when deciding whether previously earned, unused paid sick leave becomes available to a covered employee upon rehire.
  • Recordkeeping Requirements: Like the Chicago draft paid sick leave rules, the Final Rules contain a provision explaining covered employers' recordkeeping obligations.  Employers must maintain at least 12 different types of records for a period of not less than five years. These records include the: (a) date each covered employee was eligible to use paid sick leave; (b) Number of hours of paid sick leave accrued by or awarded to each covered employee; and (c) 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.
  • Train supervisory and managerial employees, as well as HR, on the PSLO requirements.

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.

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
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
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