Illinois has enacted two sets of amendments to statutes that will impact employers on January 1, 2023. Businesses will need to review and potentially modify existing policies.
On May 13, 2022, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 3146 into law, amending the One Day Rest In Seven Act (ODRISA). ODRISA was enacted to provide employees with a day of rest in each workweek and meal or rest breaks during daily work shifts.
The amendments to ODRISA redefine the period in which an employee is entitled to “twenty-four consecutive hours of rest” and include new meal break and employer notice obligations. The law also increases penalties on employers that violate the meal and rest break requirements.
The amendments do not alter the definitions of “employer” or “employee.” The statute continues to apply to employers with one or more employees in Illinois, and Section 2 of the statute regarding hours and days of rest continues to exclude enumerated categories of employees from coverage, including part-time employees whose total hours worked for one employer during a calendar week do not exceed 20 and employees who are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, or as an outside salesman, as defined by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The amendments also add one new category of employees excluded from Section 2 coverage: “Employees for whom work hours, days of work, and rest periods are established through the collective bargaining process.”
New Definition of ‘Work Period’
Currently, ODRISA requires that employers provide covered employees with “at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in every calendar week.” (Emphasis added.) The amendment removes the term “calendar week” and now requires “at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in every consecutive seven-day period.” (Emphasis added.)
Thus, ODRISA now applies to any employee who works six consecutive days, regardless of whether the employee’s schedule aligns with a Sunday to Saturday calendar workweek.
Additional Meal Period Required for Shifts over 12 Hours
ODRISA already required employers to provide all employees who work 7½ continuous hours “at least 20 minutes for a meal period beginning no later than 5 hours after the start of the work period.” The amendment requires employers to provide “[a]n employee who works in excess of 7½ continuous hours [with] . . . an additional 20-minute meal period for every additional 4½ continuous hours worked,” and further clarifies that “a meal period does not include reasonable time spent using the restroom facilities.” (Emphasis added.) Thus, an employee who works a 12-hour shift will now be entitled to two unpaid meal periods.
Although the amended ODRISA references 20-minute meal periods, if an employer provides unpaid meal breaks, then under the FLSA, the meal period must be at least 30 minutes long and the employee must be relieved of all work duties during this time.
New Notice Requirements
The amendments further require employers to “conspicuously” post at the workplace a notice provided by the Illinois director of labor summarizing the requirements of ODRISA and information regarding filing a complaint. For remote or traveling employees, employers must provide the notice by email or on a website “regularly used by the employer to communicate work-related information, that all employees are able to regularly access, freely and without interference.” The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) intends to make this notice available to employers on its website, presumably before the January 1, 2023, effective date.
Increased Penalties for Noncompliance of Meal and Rest Break Periods
Employers will face heightened penalties and damages payments depending on the employer’s size. Employers with fewer than 25 employees may be fined up to $250 in penalties payable to the IDOL and damages up to $250 payable to the affected employee(s) per offense. Employers with 25 or more employees can face penalties up to $500 payable to the IDOL and damages up to $500 to the affected employee(s) per offense.
Employers should note that fines can multiply quickly under the new amendments. The following violations are separate offenses, determined “on an individual basis for each employee whose rights are violated”:
On June 9, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 3120, also known as the Family Bereavement Leave Act, into law. The act is an amendment to the Child Bereavement Leave Act, which covers public and private employers with at least 50 employees and employees who have worked 1,250 hours for the employer during the prior 12-month period (similar to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act).
Expanded Leave Requirements
Per the amendment, covered Illinois employers must provide up to 10 workdays of unpaid leave to employees who are absent due to any of the following events:
The act also requires employers to provide 10 workdays of unpaid leave for employees attending the funeral of a covered family member, making arrangements necessitated by the death of a covered family member, or grieving the death of a covered family member.
It expands the definition of “covered family member” to include children, stepchildren, spouses, domestic partners, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandchildren, grandparents, or stepparents. The act also defines “domestic partners” to include adults who are in a committed relationship and is not limited to legally recognized partnerships. Previously, the act only allowed leave for these events to grieve a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.
Employers May Request ‘Reasonable Documentation’ to Justify Leave
The act also specifies that employers may, but are not required to, request “reasonable documentation” to support an employee’s request for pregnancy- or adoption-related bereavement leave.
If an employer requires documentation to justify such a leave, “reasonable documentation” shall include one of the following:
Illinois employers should take the following steps to comply with these expanded requirements before January 1, 2023:
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers: