Illinois Leave Laws – Vacation Tracker


In Illinois, an employer is not required to provide its employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer is required to pay these benefits only if it has established a policy, promised, or contracted to provide them. See 820 ILCS 115/2.

  •     Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay

“Final compensation” includes “the monetary equivalent of earned vacation” (820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 115/2).

  • Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy

Not prohibited. However, employees must have a reasonable opportunity to take the vacation and notice of the policy. Employers are also free to determine whether to permit carryover of unused vacation days a year to year and if so, how many days may be carried over. (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 56, § 300.520(e).)

  • Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination

If an employment contract or employment policy provides for paid vacation, separated employees are entitled to earn, unused vacation time, unless a collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise (820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 115/2 and 115/5).



  • Vacation and PTO (Paid Time Off)

Department states that “[b]ecause employees have an absolute right to take this time off (unlike traditional sick leave in which using sick leave is contingent upon illness), the Department will treat ‘paid time off’ as earned vacation days.” 56 Ill. Admin. Code 300.520(f)(3). 

  • Sick Leave

The state of Illinois has no roof law regarding paid sick leave, exception is the city of Chicago, Cook County Illinois.

Chicago, Cook County Illinois Paid Sick Leave Laws

Employers are required to provide employees with paid sick leave. 

To be eligible for paid sick leave, employees must work:

  • for their employer for 6 months,
  • at least 2 hours within the City or the County in any 2-week period, and
  • at least 80 hours during any 120-day period.

Employers are required to give 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, annual accrual cap is 40 hours.

Employees can carry over 20 hours of paid sick leave, if FMLA eligible, employees may carry over an additional 40 just to use for FMLA leave.

Sick leave covers the following reasons: Employee’s or family member’s health condition; the need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA

Illinois has no additional laws regarding Maternity and Paternity leave. Expecting and new parents are entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Disability Act. For more information, look under the section Federal laws, Family and Medical Leave Act and under General Information, Maternity, Paternity, and FMLA.

Jury Duty Leave

The employer is required to provide an employee with unpaid, job-protected leave to respond to a jury summons or to serve on a jury.

Employees are required to provide notice within 10 days after they received a call. 

Employers may not punish or penalize an employee who is a witness to a crime and takes time off from work to testify at a criminal proceeding pursuant to a subpoena.

Bereavement Leave

The state of Illinois has additional laws regarding bereavement leave, Child Bereavement Leave Act (under the Family and Medical Leave Act).

Employers with more than 50 employees are required to provide up to two weeks (10 working days) of unpaid bereavement leave to employees who suffered the loss of the child. An employee who suffers the loss of more than one child during the 12-month period may be provided with up to 6 weeks of bereavement leave. Leave must be used within 2 months after the death of the child has been notified.

Leave can be used to attend the funeral or alternative to a funeral, make arrangements necessitated by the death, or grieve the death of the child.

An employee is required to provide notice, 48 hours before the leave and may be required to provide an employer with appropriate documentation, such as a death certificate or published obituary.

Child bereavement leave may not be taken in addition to unpaid leave permitted under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq. (FMLA), and may not exceed unpaid leave time allowed under that law (FMLA).

Voting Leave

In Illinois, employees entitled to vote must be provided with up to two hours of paid leave to vote in a general or special election between the opening and the closing of polls (In Illinois, polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)

An employer has the right to specify the time allowed for leave. An employee must provide a notice at least one day before Election Day.

Military Leave

In addition to USERRA, Illinois has the following laws providing employment protections for military service members while on service:

Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA)

ISERRA provides military leave, job protection, reemployment rights, protection from retaliation, and protection from discrimination for members engaged in Military service.

ISERRA has a broader definition of “military service” as one provided under USERRA. It applies to the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard, but also “state active duty” (i.e. the “full-time State-funded military duty under the command and control of the Governor”, or service for any “federally recognized auxiliary of the United States Armed Forces when performing official duties in support of military or civilian authorities as a result of an emergency.”

Illinois Family Military Leave Act provides unpaid family military leave to an employee who is the spouse, parent, child, or grandparent of a person called to military service lasting longer than 30 days with the United States or the State of Illinois.

Employers with 15 – 50 employees are required to provide up to 15 days of leave

Employers with more than 50 employees are required to provide up to 30 days of leave

These two laws complement each other.


Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about Illinois Leave Laws.


To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.

    All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.