July 1, 2018 marked the one year anniversary of the effective dates of the Chicago and Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinances. A year later, more than 80% of the municipalities in Cook County have opted-out of the requirements of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. However, the opt-out issue is far from settled. We have recently watched as two municipalities – Wilmette and Western Springs – reconsidered their initial decisions to opt-out of the Cook County Ordinance. In the case of Wilmette, the Village ultimately voted last month to continue to opt-out of the Ordinance even while deciding to opt-in to the Cook County minimum wage requirements. On the other hand, in April, Western Springs did an about-face, reversing its prior decision to opt-out of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. On July 10, the Village of Northbrook decided that it would revisit its earlier decision to opt-out of the Cook County Ordinance at its next board meeting on September 25. Stay tuned for further developments.
Now that the Chicago and Cook County Ordinances are a year old, it is a good time for employers to confirm that they have either: (1) properly calculated the amount of sick leave their employees are entitled to carry over to the second Accrual Period, or (2) frontloaded the appropriate amount of carryover hours beginning on July 1, 2018 in lieu of calculating the precise amount of carryover hours to which each employee is entitled. As a reminder, a Covered Employee is entitled to carry over half of his or her accrued, unused Earned Sick Leave to the second Accrual Period, up to a maximum of 20 hours. Further, FMLA-Eligible Covered Employees are entitled to carry over an additional up to 40 hours of accrued, unused Earned Sick Leave to the second Accrual Year for use exclusively for FMLA-qualifying reasons.