Sep 5, 2023 - News

Illinois worker rights expand under spate of new laws

Illustration of a scale on top of a stack of paperwork and files.

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed several new laws that workers in Illinois should know about.

Why it matters: They give full- and part-time employees more rights and aim to hold employers accountable for prompt compensation and time off.

Commuter benefits

Companies with 50 or more employees must allow workers to exclude public transit and parking costs from taxable income.

The big picture: With so many companies still struggling to get workers in the office five days a week, more affordable commutes may help lure people back. Sure, the trip to your couch is free, but still.

When: Jan. 1, 2024.

Pay transparency

Places with 15 or more employees will have to include salary ranges and a description of benefits in all new job postings.

Between the lines: Though it's still more than a year away from taking effect, this new law will help job seekers better negotiate pay and narrow job searches to match income expectations.

When: Jan. 1, 2025.

Child bereavement leave

Employees working for companies of 250 or more full-time workers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if their child dies by suicide or homicide. The leave shortens to six weeks for employees at smaller companies.

Context: This expands on the Family Bereavement Act passed in 2022 that allowed for unpaid time off in the event of a pregnancy or adoption loss.

When: Jan. 1, 2024.

Paying freelancers on time

The Freelance Worker Protection Act will make companies compensate independent contractors in a timely manner.

Why it matters: Illinois is the first state to put these protections on the books — a move that will certainly make freelancers (hey fellow journos!) rejoice as they won't have to harangue employers to pay them for their work.

When: July 1, 2024.

Temps filling in during strikes

Temporary workers or day laborers must be notified ahead of time if they're sent to fill in at a business where there's a strike or work stoppage. They'll reserve the right to refuse the assignment.

Between the lines: Previously, temps and day laborers would be forced to cross a picket line. Now they'll have protections from retaliation if they refuse to do so.

When: Aug. 4, 2023.


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