Chicago Sick Leave Ordinance for Domestic Workers Begins July 1

Jun 6, 2017 | Domestic Workers' Rights, Household Employer Policies

chicago-sick-leave-ordinanceEmployers must begin complying with the Chicago Sick Leave Ordinance on July 1, 2017. The Ordinance applies to all employers in Chicago and Cook County, IL, regardless of the number of employees, applies to both exempt and non-exempt workers, and explicitly provides that it applies to domestic workers. Here are some of the key elements of the law.


  • Employees are eligible to earn leave if they work 2 or more hours in a 2-week period.
  • Employees are eligible to use leave once they have worked 80 or more hours for the employer in a 120-day period.
  • Employers may require up to a 180-day waiting period before leave is used.

Accrual and Use

  • Employees must accrue at least 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
  • Employers may limit both accrual and use of sick leave to 40 hours per year.
  • Employees must be allowed to carry over up to 20 hours of unused time into a new benefit year.
  • Employees may use the sick leave for the following reasons:
    1. the employee is ill or injured, or needs to receive medical care;
    2. caring for an ill or injured family member, or a family member receiving medical care;
    3. being a domestic violence or sex offense victim; and
    4. the employee’s workplace or their child’s school/childcare facility is closed due to a public health emergency.


  • Employers may not ask for a doctor’s note unless an employee is gone for more than three consecutive work days.
  • Employers may not require that employees find their own replacement.
  • Unused leave does not have to be paid out at termination.
  • Paid time off plans that grant equal or better benefits are acceptable.

Employers in both Cook County and Chicago must distribute a written notice about sick leave benefits to each employee.

Employers who do not currently offer a sick leave or multi-use paid time off (PTO) plan should create a policy and prepare to implement it by July 1. Employers who already have a sick leave or PTO policy should ensure that it is fully compliant with the ordinance, and adjust it as needed.

Contact GTM at (800) 929-9213 if you have any questions or need more information on how we keep families compliant with household employment laws.

Free Consultation

On your household

Learn More



Free Consultation

On your household

Learn More

Subscribe to our Blog

The weekly Household Employer Digest delivered to your inbox.

Learn more and subscribe.

Click on a tag for related articles:

Get a Free Consultation

Get help from our experts on how to manage your household tax and payroll.

Call Today!

Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 8 pm ET

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This