Illinois Employers: Two New Laws Take Effect in 2023 – Publications


Illinois has enacted two sets of law amendments that will impact employers on January 1, 2023. Companies will need to review and possibly modify existing policies.


On May 13, 2022, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 3146, amending the One Day Rest In Seven Act (ODRISA). The ODRISA was enacted to provide employees with one day off in each work week and meal or rest breaks during daily shifts.

The ODRISA amendments redefine the period during which an employee is entitled to “twenty-four consecutive hours of rest” and include new requirements for meal breaks and notice to the employer. The law also increases penalties for employers who violate meal and break requirements.

The Amendments do not change the definitions of “employer” or “employee”. The law continues to apply to employers with one or more employees in Illinois, and section 2 of the law regarding hours and days of rest continues to exclude listed categories of employees from coverage, including including part-time employees whose total number of hours worked for an employer in a calendar week does not exceed 20 and employees who are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity, or as an outside salesperson, such as defined by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The amendments also add a new category of employees excluded from Section 2 coverage: “Employees for whom hours of work, days of work and rest periods are established through the collective bargaining process.

New definition of “work period”

Currently, ODRISA requires employers to provide covered employees “at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in each calendar week.” (Emphasis added.) The amendment deletes the term “calendar week” and now requires “at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in each consecutive period”. seven day period.” (Emphasis added.)

Thus, the ODRISA now applies to any employee who works six consecutive days, whether or not the employee’s schedule corresponds to a Sunday to Saturday work week.

Additional meal period required for shifts longer than 12 hours

ODRISA already required employers to provide all employees who work 7.5 continuous hours “at least 20 minutes for a meal period commencing no later than 5 hours after the start of the work period”. The amendment requires employers to provide “[a]n employee who works more than 7½ continuous hours [with] . . . a Additional 20-minute meal period for each additional 4.5 hours continuously worked”, and further clarifies that “a meal period does not include reasonable time spent using the lavatory”. (Emphasis mine.) Thus, an employee who works a 12-hour shift will now be entitled to two unpaid meal periods.

Although the amended ODRISA refers to 20-minute meal periods, if an employer provides unpaid meal breaks, then under the RSA the meal period must be at least 30 minutes and the employee must be relieved of all duties during this period.

New Notice Requirements

The amendments further require employers to “prominently” post in the workplace a notice provided by the Illinois Labor Director summarizing ODRISA’s requirements and information about 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, which all employees may access regularly, freely and without interference”. The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) intends to make this notice available to employers on its websitelikely before the effective date of January 1, 2023.

Increased penalties for not respecting meal and rest periods

Employers will face increased penalties and damages depending on the size of the employer. Employers with less than 25 employees may be fined up to $250 in penalties payable to IDOL and damages of up to $250 payable to affected employee(s) by violation. Employers with 25 or more employees may face penalties of up to $500 payable to IDOL and damages of up to $500 to the employee(s) involved in the violation .

Employers should note that fines can multiply quickly under the new amendments. The following violations are separate violations, determined “on an individual basis for each employee whose rights are violated”:

  • “Each week that an employee is found not to have been entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest. . . will constitute a separate offence. »
  • “Every day an employee is found not to have been granted a meal period. . . will constitute a separate offence. »


On June 9, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 3120, also known as the Family Bereavement Leave Act. 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 previous period of 12 months (similar to the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act).

Expanded Leave Requirements

Pursuant to the amendment, covered employers in Illinois must grant up to 10 working days of unpaid leave to employees who are absent due to any of the following:

  • A miscarriage
  • An unsuccessful intrauterine insemination or assisted reproductive technology procedure
  • A failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is disputed by another party
  • failed surrogacy agreement
  • A diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility
  • A stillborn

The law also requires employers to grant 10 working days of unpaid leave to employees who attend the funeral of a covered family member, make arrangements for the death of a covered family member, or mourn the death. of a covered family member.

It expands the definition of “covered family member” to include children, stepchildren, spouses, domestic partners, siblings, parents, stepparents, grandchildren, grandchildren. parents or in-laws. The law also defines “domestic partners” to include adults who are in a committed relationship and is not limited to legally recognized partnerships. Previously, the law only allowed leave for these events to mourn a biological, adopted or adoptive child, stepson, legal ward, or child of a person standing in loco parentis.

Employers can ask for ‘reasonable documentation’ to justify leave

The law also clarifies 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, the “reasonable documentation” must include one of the following:

  • A form provided by IDOL to be completed by a medical professional who treated the employee, the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, or substitute for a covered event
  • Documentation from the adoption or surrogacy organization the employee worked with certifying that the employee or their spouse or domestic partner experienced a covered event
  • The law still allows employers to request documentation to support bereavement leave in the event of the death of a family member. However, an employer cannot require the employee to identify the category of event to which the leave relates as a condition for exercising the rights provided for by law.


Illinois employers must take the following steps to comply with these expanded requirements by January 1, 2023:

  • Review and possibly revise employee work schedules to ensure that current practices/schedules allow for one day off per consecutive seven-day period.
  • Plan to comply with new meal period requirements for shifts longer than 12 hours.
  • Consult the idol websitewhich will likely be updated this year to provide guidance and a template for the required employee notice described above.
  • Review and revise company leave policies to ensure they comply with expanded requirements under the Family Bereavement Leave Act.


If you have any questions or would like more information about the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact one of the following Morgan Lewis attorneys:

Sari M. Alamuddin
Jonathan D. Lotsoff
Stephanie L. Sweitzer
Friend N. Wynne


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