Hutchinson makes the case for paid sick timeSPRINGFIELD – Illinois would become the fourth state to require paid sick time for employees under a proposal heard today in the Senate Executive Committee.

“Far too many Illinoisans are living paycheck to paycheck, unable to miss even one day of work,” sponsor State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “One illness, one accident or one emergency situation could mean choosing between their well-being or putting food on the table.”

The proposal requires Illinois employers to offer up to seven paid sick days per year, accruing an hour at a time for every 30 hours worked. The proposal is similar to a plan unveiled by President Obama earlier this year in an effort to give more flexibility to working families.

While the plan would help the more than 40 percent of Illinois workers who don’t qualify for paid sick time, employers would also benefit from the proposal. Numerous studies have shown the benefit employers receive when paid sick time is offered, as workers recover from illnesses faster and are more productive once they return to work.

“We are the only industrialized country that hasn’t extended this basic human right to our workforce,” Hutchinson said. “It is time we move forward and update our laws to match our modern economy.”   

Under the plan, paid sick time could not be used within the first 120 days of a worker’s employment and would not have to be paid out to employees when they leave work.   

Senate Bill 1836 was heard today in the Senate Executive Committee.

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