Chicago Issues Final Paid Sick Leave Rules While Surrounding Suburbs Continue to Opt Out of Cook County Sick Leave Coverage

by Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
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The City of Chicago has issued final rules for its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.  The Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was passed on June 22, 2016 and will take effect on July 1, 2017. 

The long-awaited final Chicago paid sick leave rules are actually abbreviated from the draft rules that were made available to the public on May 30. Of note in the final rules is the City’s decision to delete examples on how to calculate paid sick leave in various scenarios and modified language stating that covered employees are entitled to use no more than 40 hours of accrued regular paid sick leave during any accrual period. 

Employers should also be aware of the growing list of municipalities in Cook County—at last count, some 93 out of the 134 in Cook County—that have affirmatively opted out of the County’s sick leave ordinance, ostensibly due to the fact that the ordinance increases the cost of doing business within the County’s boundaries.  Like the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance takes effect on July 1.  As of this writing, those municipalities include: 

Alsip, Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bartlett, Bedford Park, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berkeley, Bridgeview, Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Burbank, Burr Ridge, Calumet City, Calumet Park, Chicago Heights, Chicago Ridge, Crestwood, Des Plaines, Dixmoor, East Hazel Crest, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Elmwood Park, Evergreen Park, Flossmoor, Forest Park, Franklin Park, Glenview, Golf, Hanover Park, Harvey, Harwood Heights, Hickory Hills, Hillside, Hinsdale, Hodgkins, Hoffman Estates, Hometown, Homewood, Indian Head Park, Inverness, Justice, La Grange Park, Lansing, Lemont, Lincolnwood, Lynwood, Lyons, Maywood, Melrose Park, Merrionette Park, Midlothian, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Norridge, North Riverside, Northbrook, Northlake, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Orland Hills, Orland Park, Palatine, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Park Ridge, Posen, Prospect Heights, Richton Park, River Forest, River Grove, Riverside, Rolling Meadows, Rosemont, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, South Barrington, South Chicago Heights, South Holland, Steger, Stickney, Stone Park, Streamwood, Summit, Thornton, Tinley Park, Western Springs, Wheeling, Willow Springs, Wilmette, and Worth.

We anticipate that this list will continue to grow as village boards and city councils consider the issue on an expedited basis between now and July 1.  The Village of Oak Park, which had previously indicated that it would not opt out, has called a special board meeting to consider a temporary 90-day opt-out proposal on Friday, June 30 at 5 p.m.  Employers in those municipalities still covered by the ordinance are encouraged to check their local government website or contact their city or village hall for the status of local opt-out legislation.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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