New Chicago Paid Leave Law on Jan. 1, 2024

By Kris Janisch
Published Nov. 28, 2023

New Chicago Paid Leave Law January 2024

Employers with locations in Chicago should review the new paid leave ordinance to ensure they are ready to comply with the new Chicago paid leave law that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

A new Chicago paid leave law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Replacing the previous paid sick leave law, The Chicago Paid Time Off ordinance applies universally to all employers within the city and was passed in November 2023.

City officials are hailing the new ordinance as “the most progressive paid time off legislation at the municipal level” in the U.S.

“Today is a great day for the workers of Chicago, the businesses of Chicago, and the future of Chicago,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “This ordinance, accomplished through compromise and collaboration, is an important step on the path to revitalizing the economy of our great city.”

Paid Leave Management. Simplified.

What is the new Chicago Paid Leave Law in 2024?

The new Chicago Paid Time Off ordinance guarantees up to five days of paid time off and five days of sick time for all employees in the city.

Covered employees are those who work at least two hours in any two-week period within the boundaries of Chicago. That includes compensated time travelling in the city, such as deliveries or sales calls.

Accrual and Caps:

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, or on the first day of a worker’s employment, employees will begin accruing paid leave.

  • For every 35 hours worked, an employee accrues one hour of paid leave and one hour of paid sick leave.
  • There is a cap of 40 hours of paid leave and 40 hours of paid sick leave per 12-month period.
  • Employees may carry over up to 16 hours of paid leave and 80 hours of paid sick leave from one 12-month accrual period to the next.

In terms of use, employees can begin using the paid time off as follows:

  • 30th calendar day of employment – paid sick leave
  • 90th calendar day after employment – paid leave

Paid Sick Leave Laws by State

Other Aspects of Chicago’s New Paid Leave Law

For the paid leave portion of the ordinance, employees can use paid leave for any reason.

However, there are guidelines for using paid sick leave, though they are broad and include:

  • An employee’s own illness or medical care, including mental health issues
  • To care for an ill family member
  • Time needed to deal with domestic violence issues of the employee or a family member
  • Business closure due to a public health emergency, or to care for a family member whose business, school or place of care has been closed
  • Time needed to deal with a communicable disease
  • Public health order to quarantine

Lastly, the ordinance will require an updated labor law poster.

See the full text of the ordinance for more information, including certain exceptions for small employers.

Related: Illinois Paid Leave for Any Reason Law

Managing Paid Leave Laws

Employers that operate in jurisdictions across the country always have to contend with new laws — and often the associated labor law poster updates.

But beyond tracking new laws, employers also have to keep an eye out for tweaks to existing statues (as was the case with the recent Colorado paid sick leave update), as well as potential additional guidance from labor departments.

Other recent news on the paid leave front includes:

The challenges of managing paid leave for large employers have never been more complex.

Managing Paid Leave for Remote and Hybrid Employees


Employers with locations in the Windy City should review the ordinance to ensure they are ready to comply with the new Chicago paid leave law. Navigating the complexities of paid leave management is an ongoing challenge, particularly in the context of evolving labor laws nationwide. Stay proactively informed with the latest legal developments effortlessly by using GovDocs Paid Leave.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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GovDocs simplifies employment law compliance for large employers in the U.S. and Canada. The GovDocs software platform integrates three solutions in one convenient place to help you master the employment laws impacting your business. Whether you manage a labor law posters, minimum wage or paid leave program, our products cut through research time, provide proactive insights into the everchanging landscape of employment laws and reduce the risk of noncompliance. The company is headquartered in Eagan, Minn.

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