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On Oct. 5, the Cook County Board passed an ordinance requiring all Cook County, Ill., employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year. This comes on the heels of Chicago's enactment of its own paid-sick-leave law, with the Cook County ordinance nearly mirroring Chicago's legislation.
The new law is slated to go into effect on July 1, 2017, and will draw hundreds of suburban employers into the paid-sick-leave territory. Here are a few things that employers need to know regarding this new law:
Failure to comply with the above regulations could be costly. The ordinance itself expressly creates a cause of action against an employer who violates any of the paid-sick-leave provisions, providing that any affected employee may recover damages in the amount equal to three times the full amount of any unpaid sick time denied or lost by reason of the employer's violation, along with interest, costs, and attorney's fees.
Thus, we recommend that Cook County employers take action now to ensure that they are in compliance as of July 1, 2017, including conducting a thorough review of existing policies and potentially drafting new policy language regarding sick leave and paid time off.
Brian V. Alcala and Brittany A. Bogaerts are attorneys with Nixon Peabody in Chicago. © Nixon Peabody. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.
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