Starting next year, Illinois workers will be guaranteed some paid time off. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law this past week requiring employers to offer workers a minimum of five days of paid time off based on hours worked. One hour of paid leave is earned for every 40 hours worked.
The move has prompted discussion about its effect on Latino workers, who make up a substantial part of the Illinois workforce.
“If we look just as recently as COVID, we could see that our community was also hugely impacted by COVID along with the Black community. … Not having paid leave had a huge impact,” said Jill Manrique, co-director of Chicago Jobs with Justice.
José Uribe, workplace justice campaigns organizer with Arise Chicago, said that any law needs safeguards and dedicated funding for enforcement in order to be truly effective.
“Obviously, it’s wonderful to see the state effecting and enacting new laws,” Uribe said, “but where we lack the resources to effectively enforce those laws, they don’t really have the same impact that is intended in the community.”
The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.