Surprising New Illinois Laws Employers Need to Know for 2023

New Illinois laws

As an employer in the state of Illinois, you are responsible for knowing and adhering to all new employment laws. Every year, many new laws get passed and this year is no different. In fact, Illinois had over 180 new laws that went into effect starting January 1, 2023. While employers do not need to know every law on that list, they do need to take note of a few that affect their employees’ rights.

One Day Rest In Seven (ODRIS) Act

There are some notable amendments that were made to the ODRIS Act that are effective beginning on January 1, 2023.

  • Day of rest amendment – The amendment for 2023 states that employers must allow eligible employees at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every consecutive 7-day period. The original wording allowed the 24-hour break in every calendar week. Therefore, any employee that works six consecutive days is entitled to 24 hours off, regardless of whether it falls in the same calendar week or not.
  • Additional meal periods – current ODRIS law requires employers to allow employees who work 7.5 continuous hours to take at least a 20-minute meal break. Now, the new amendments also require that employees who work in excess of 7.5 continuous hours are allowed an additional 20-minute meal break for every additional 4.5 continuous hours worked.
  • Increased penalties – Starting in 2023, penalties for non-compliance of these laws will be significantly increased for Illinois employers. For example, for employers of less than 25 employees, penalties are up to $250 per offense (payable to the Department of Labor) as well as damages of up to $250 per offense (payable to the affected employee). For employers of more than 25 employees, those fines can be up to $500 per offense.

Bereavement Leave

Senate Bill 3120, also known as the Family Bereavement Leave Act, was signed on June 9, 2022 and is an amendment to the Child Bereavement Leave Act.  This amendment provides expanded allowances to employees for bereavement leave.  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:

  • A miscarriage
  • An unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or an assisted reproductive technology procedure
  • A failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party
  • failed surrogacy agreement
  • A diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility
  • A stillbirth
  • Attending the funeral of a covered family member, to include children, grandchildren, stepchildren, spouses, domestic partners, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, stepparents or grandparents

Illinois Human Rights Act Amendment

The CROWN Act, signed in June of 2022, amends the Illinois Human Rights Act’s definition of race. Beginning January 1, 2023, this law determines that the definition of race includes traits associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks and twists.  Therefore, the Act will prohibit discrimination based on the basis of hairstyles typically associated with race.

Count on Us to Stay Compliant with Illinois Employment Laws

When you work with the team at Churchill, Quinn, Hamilton & Van Donselaar, Ltd, you’ll get a partner that you can depend on to keep you updated on applicable Illinois employment laws.  As 2023 rolls in, employers will need to modify existing policies to accommodate these new laws. As such, it’s the perfect time to review the rest of the employee handbook as well. We can help to ensure that your company is addressing essential topics that can impact business operations and security.

We are dedicated to protecting the interests of our business clients and have been a trusted member of our community for over 100 years.  Contact us at 847-223-1500 to learn how we can keep your business protected and compliant through continually changing legal requirements.