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Illinois and Chicago Employee Rights

In addition to federal laws, employees who work in Illinois may be entitled to protections under state and city laws. These include, but are not limited to:

Illinois Paid Family Leave

While there is no state family and medical leave act for private-sector employees in Illinois, state governmental employees have leave rights under the Family Responsibility Leave Act, 20 ILCS 415/8c and Ill. Admin. Code tit. 80, § 303.148. These include leave to care for family members, and also for temporary dislocation of the employee’s family because of natural disaster, crime, war, insurrection, or other disruptive event.

Illinois State Human Rights Law

Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5; the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance, Cook County, Illinois Code of Ordinances, 42–35; and Chicago Human Rights Ordinance, Municipal Code of Chicago, 2–160–010 to –120, employees are protected against discrimination on the basis of disability, which may include infectious diseases.

Illinois mini-COBRA

If an employer maintains an employee health plan, terminated employees are entitled to notice of their rights to purchase up to 12 months of continuation coverage under the Illinois Continuation Law, 215 ILCS 5/367(e).

Illinois mini-WARN

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, 820 ILCS 65, applies to smaller employers and smaller closures/layoffs than the federal WARN Act, covering employers of 75 or more employees, and closures or layoffs of 25 or more employees from a single worksite. Such laid-off or terminated employees are entitled to 60-days’ notice of the termination and other rights under WARN.

Chicago and Cook County Sick Leave

Chicago and Cook County require that employers furnish paid sick leave to most non-exempt (hourly) employees, earned at the rate of one hour for every forty hours worked. Leave may be used when one is ill or injured; to take care of a sick or injured family member; or where the “place of business is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, or he or she needs to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.” The Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, Municipal Code of Chicago, 1–24–045; Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, Cook County, Illinois Code of Ordinances, 42–1.

In this unprecedented time, protections may be added, removed, or changed at any time, and it is important to consult with an attorney to understand what rights you may have as an employee in Illinois.

Published: March 24, 2020