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Rest and Meal Period Law Changes

Effective January 1, 2023, employers are required to:

  • Allow every employee, with exceptions, at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every consecutive seven-day period (not in every calendar week, as was the previous standard) in addition to their regular rest period at the end of each working day;
  • Provide a 20-minute meal period for employees who work seven and one-half continuous hours (not seven and one-half hours or longer, as was the previous standard) and it must begin no later than five hours after the start of the work period; and
  • Provide additional 20-minute meal periods for employees who work more than seven and one-half continuous hours for every additional four and one-half continuous hours worked. This is a new state requirement. Of note, meal periods don’t include reasonable time spent using the restroom.

The law also requires that employers post and maintain workplace notices about the law, and the Illinois Director of Labor provides these notices free of charge. Employers without a physical workplace, or whose employees are remote or travel for work, can give this notice to employees by email or post it on their website so long as employees get the notice without interference.

New Family Bereavement Leave Act


Effective January 1, 2023, the Illinois Child Bereavement Leave Act (CBLA) will become the Illinois Family Bereavement Leave Act and will:

  • Cover absences related to pregnancy loss or other situations impacting fertility, adoption, or pregnancy; and
  • Allow leave after the loss of family members previously not covered by the law. Family member means an employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, parent-in-law, stepparent, grandchild, or grandparent. The definition of child remains unchanged.

Other changes under the CBLA include:

  • All references to “child” will change to “family member.”
  • Expansion of the leave entitlement to include absence from work due to a:
    • Miscarriage;
    • Diagnosis or event impacting pregnancy and fertility (“an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or an assisted reproductive technology procedure”);
    • Failed adoption match or an unfinalized adoption because it is contested by another party;
    • Failed surrogacy agreement;
    • Diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy; or
    • Stillbirth.

The act also provides deadlines and amended documentation requirements.

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