Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has signed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, which requires nearly all workers in Illinois to receive a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave per year. The bill will allow employees to take time off from work for a variety of reasons, such as sick leave, childcare, medical appointments, mental health, and vacation. With this move, Illinois has become the third state in the United States to set a paid leave standard.
At a press conference held in Chicago, the Governor expressed his appreciation for the collaboration between labor and business interests that helped make the act a reality. He called it a victory for working-class families, adding that worker productivity would improve as a result of the bill.
An amendment to Senate Bill 208 created the PLAWA and set its stipulations. The bill was passed mostly along party lines during the lame duck session, with only a few Republican votes in favor. Republicans who voted against it were concerned about costs they believed would be incurred, especially by small businesses.
The act is expected to impact approximately 1.5 million Illinoisans, and workers can begin using their hours on March 31, 2024, or 90 days after starting a job. For every 40 hours worked, a worker earns an hour of paid leave, not exceeding 40 hours over a 12-month period.
Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, who sponsored the amendment, called the bill a game changer for so many working families. She also noted that it was a long-time process in getting the bill passed.
More state government action is expected in Chicago this week, with multiple Senate committee hearings scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The House will convene in Springfield this week as well.
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