Illinois employers see one-day-rest, break changes

Illinois employers should be aware of key changes to the Illinois One Day Rest in Seven Act that were signed into law recently by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The act gives workers the right to a day of rest every workweek and meal or rest breaks during daily work shifts. The changes contained in Senate Bill 3146  were designed to clarify that the day of rest requirements apply to workers whose schedules don’t align with a Sunday to Saturday calendar week. 

That means, as of Jan. 1, 2023, the day of rest act will apply to any consecutive seven-day work period. In addition, the law requires that employers give an additional 20-minute break for workers during a 12-hour shift, and it clarifies penalties for bad actors.

Under the new law, employers with fewer than 25 employees that violate the act can face a penalty of $250 per offense and damages up to $250 per offense. Employers with 25 or more employees who violate the act can face a penalty of $500 per offense and damages up to $500 per offense.

Every employer covered by the act also must post a notice at the workplace to notify employees of their rights under the law. The Illinois Department of Labor will provide this notice on its website for employers to download and post.

The effective date was delayed until the new year to give employers time to update meal and rest break policies and remain in compliance with the law.

“The changes will strengthen the One Day Rest in Seven Act and reflect the ongoing mission of the Illinois Department of Labor to protect the rights, wages and working conditions for people in Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Labor Acting Director Jane Flanagan.

The bill was the result of negotiations among the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), the business community, community groups and unions.

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