SPRINGFIELD (IRN) — While it didn’t pass before lawmakers left for the year, a measure mandating Illinois employers give all employees, even part-time ones, earned sick pay could come up next year.
Lawmaker left last week. They won’t be back until late January. State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, said she plans on amending Senate Bill 471, The Healthy Workplace Act, to require employers to give all employees, including part-time but not independent contractors, mandated sick pay.
“Mandated sick time is an incredibly important progressive policy,” Gordon-Booth said.
“We’re really trying to move Illinois into the 21st Century in terms of making sure that people don’t have to make a decision between coming to work sick or sending their children to school sick because they don’t want to potentially lose critical household income.”
The measure as it stands now would give an employee five days, or 40 hours each year of paid sick time that would accrue over time.
National Federation of Independent Business Illinois State Director Mark Grant such a measure will cost small businesses on top of other state mandates.
“[There’s a] minimum wage hike coming in January, then again in July. It’ll be at $15 an hour in five years and that really hurts them,” Grant said. “And then there are many other regulations, the new sexual harassment training that has to go in to place at every business. There are all sorts of things coming down the pike for our business owners and they’re fearful.”
The measure passed committee last week, but wasn’t called for a full vote.
Gordon-Booth said the business community has already moved quite a bit and she hopes to find the right language.
“I think that the issues right now are just some dangling participles that we need to clean up, but we potentially could get somewhat of an agreed bill out of this process. So I’m excited to be able to go into 2020 and pass this policy on behalf of the 1.5 million people outside of Cook County.”
Cook County passed mandated sick pay in 2017.
Grant said businesses want flexibility, like what many businesses are already doing. He said some businesses allow for paid time off, not just for “sick time.”
“They could use it for anything,” Grant said. “They could use it to go to the school for kid’s stuff or they could take a vacation with it and a lot of our businesses are already moving in that direction and have moved in that direction in just calling it PTO, paid time off.”
He said whether the NFIB Illinois organization decides to go neutral on a bill from Gordon-Booth depends on what the bill ultimately looks like.
Lawmakers are scheduled back for the second year of the 101st General Assembly in late January.