The General Assembly is currently considering a bill which would require all employers to provide paid health care leave time to all employees. Illinois General Assembly House Bill 3297, if enacted, would require all public and private employers to pay their employees at the same hourly rate for leave time taken to care for injuries or illnesses to themselves or family members. See 99th Ill. Gen. Assem., House Bill 3297. Employees of large employers (50 or more employees) would earn one hour of paid leave time for every 22 hours worked, while employees of small employers (1-49 employees) earn one hour of paid health care time for every 40 hours worked. Employers may limit the number of paid health care hours an employee accrues to 56 hours per year.
House Bill 3297, if enacted into law, would be enforced exclusively by the Illinois Department of Labor. The fiscal impact of the bill has recently been studied by the Department of Labor. It is estimated that the cost to enforce this bill would be approximately $800,000 of taxpayer money each year. In the current political and fiscal climate of Illinois, it appears unlikely this bill will pass. However, the bill's sponsors continue to lobby and gain momentum. This is a development that should be watched closely by all employers in Illinois.