Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Illinois
What are the details?
New Definition of the Consecutive 24-Hour Rest Period
Currently, employers are required to provide most employees with at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every “calendar week,” which is defined as Sunday at 12:01 a.m. to midnight on Saturday. The amendment has deleted “calendar week” and instead provides that beginning next year, employers must allow most employees “at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in every consecutive seven-day period.”
Additional Meal Breaks
ODRISA also requires a mandatory unpaid 20-minute meal break for any employee who is to work for seven-and-one-half continuous hours or longer, which must be provided within the first five hours of work.
The amendment provides that “[a]n employee who works in excess of 7½ continuous hours shall be entitled to an additional 20-minute meal period for every additional 4½ continuous hours worked” (emphasis added). The amendment specifies that “a meal period does not include reasonable time spent using the restroom facilities.”
New Notification Requirements
The amended ODRISA will require employers to “post and keep posted, in one or more conspicuous places” where notices are customarily posted, a notice provided by the director of the IDOL “summarizing the requirements of [ODRISA] and information pertaining to the filing of a complaint.” For “employees who do not regularly report to a physical workplace, and instead work remotely or travel for work,” employers will be required to “provide the notice by email … or on a website, regularly used by the employer to communicate work-related information, that all employees are able to regularly access, freely and without interference.”
New Penalties for Violations
The most significant changes to ODRISA are the new penalties for violations of the rest and meal break periods. Specifically, the amendment provides that an employer that violates ODRISA’s rest and meal break provisions “shall be guilty of a civil offense” (previously, a “petty offense”). The penalties are as follows:
- “For an employer with fewer than 25 employees, a penalty not to exceed $250 per offense, payable to the Department of Labor, and damages of up to $250 per offense, payable to the employee or employees affected.”
- “For an employer with 25 or more employees, a penalty not to exceed $500 per offense, payable to the Department of Labor, and damages of up to $500 per offense, payable to the employee or employees affected.”
An “offense” under ODRISA “shall be determined on an individual basis for each employee whose rights are violated” as follows:
- “Each week that an employee is found to not have been allowed 24 consecutive hours of rest … shall constitute a separate offense.”
- “Each day that an employee is found not to have been provided a meal period … shall constitute a separate offense.”
A violation of the notification requirements will constitute a single offense and be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250, payable to the IDOL.
IDOL Director’s Authority
The amendment provides that the Director of the IDOL “shall enforce [ODRISA] in accordance with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.” For contested cases, the IDOL Director shall have the authority afforded under the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, which includes, “but [is] not limited to, provisions for depositions, subpoena power and procedures, and discovery and protective order procedures.”
For more information, please see the links below:
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and make adjustments to their meal break policies to be in compliance with the new law once it goes into effect on January 1, 2022.
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