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New Year, New Rules on Time Off for Employees in Illinois

September 14, 2022

In 2023, Illinois employers will be addressing changes to a number of laws focused on the workplace.  In this advisory, we focus on amendments to two pre-existing laws that will interest employers.


One upcoming change in 2023 is to the ODRISA law (One Day Rest In Seven Act).  While the law currently says that it “provides for employees a minimum of twenty-four-hours of rest in each calendar week,” according to the Illinois Department of Labor, the wording will change in 2023.

Starting January 1, the act will change to employees having at least 24-hours of rest every consecutive seven day-period, according to the Illinois General Assembly. This means that the law now applies to everyone that works for six consecutive days, regardless of whether the employee’s schedule aligns with a Sunday-Saturday work week.

Meal breaks also will be affected by the amendments to the ODRISA law.  Currently, the law provides employees “a meal period of 20 minutes for every 7.5 hour shift beginning no later than 5 hours after the start of the shift.” In 2023, the language will change to say that employees “who work in excess of 7 1/2 continuous hours shall be entitled to an additional 20-minute meal period for every additional 4 1/2 continuous hours worked.” That means workers who work 12-hour shifts are entitled to two meal periods.

Family Bereavement Leave Act

In 2023, the Family Bereavement Leave Act also will have notable changes.  According to the Illinois General Assembly, the new amendment allows workers to have a day off due to a:

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

Workers must also be given 10 workdays of unpaid leave if they are attending the funeral of a covered family member. Covered family members include “an employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.”

Johnson & Bell’s Employment group will continue to monitor changes to laws that affect Illinois employers.  If you have any questions about the pending changes in the above noted laws and how they may affect your organization, please contact Christopher J. Carlos or Caroline K. Vickrey. 

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