Changes to the Illinois employment law began in 2022 with an upgrade to the minimum wage rates and in January 2023, the One Day Rest in Seven Act (ODRISA) will enhance how the employer/employee relationship emerges in terms of rest and how work is scheduled. Here is what you Need to Know!
1.Chicago Employers Are Responsible for Knowing the Law
There are a few changes to the existing ODRISA laws. Those changes will become enforceable starting on January 1, 2023.
- The removal of voluntary scheduling. This means that employees are no longer able to volunteer to give up their one day of rest in order to work. For the employer to be safe from the teeth of the law, they would need to have approval from the state. The move makes it more difficult for employers to skirt the law and trick or force employees to work more hours in the week. It also prevents creative scheduling that would cause employees to work more than seven days in a row regardless of how their work week falls. An employer would no longer be able to schedule an employee for five or more days at the end of their work week, followed by more days at the beginning of the next work week.
- A recognition of special job roles – By allowing for a committee to approve special circumstances at the state level, the act makes it possible for a certain job classification to work more than seven days in a row without a full 24 hours off for rest. An example might be a doctor or a firefighter. However, the act does not list specific industries or jobs and each position must be approved by the State.
- Employers are required to post the changes to the new act in a place where employees can access and read them easily.
2.The ODRISA Fair Workweek Also Address Meal Breaks
Changes include a 20-minute meal break for any employee who works more than 7.5 hours per day and an additional meal break for any employee who works more than 12 hours in a shift.
The process works out to a 20-minute meal break for each 4.5-hour block worked. Changes include:
- Separation of meal breaks from other breaks, such as short breaks for restroom usage.
- Meal breaks remain unpaid, where a shift worker is entitled to paid breaks for restroom usage.
Note: The Federal laws require that meal breaks that are unpaid, be equal to 30-minutes or longer. While ODRISA specifies a 20-minute meal break, federal law demands a 30-minute meal break for shifts longer than 4.5 hours.
Employees who work for one employer for less than 20 hours per week are not covered by these changes. Certain employee classes, such as outside sales team members, are also not covered. An employment lawyer can help you understand if your position is covered or not under the changes to the ODRISA Fair Workweek act.
The penalties for employers also increase with these changes. All changes become enforceable on January 1, 2023.
Contact Goldman & Ehrlich With Your Employee Rights Questions!
If you think that your employer is violating your meal and rest period rights as an employee in Chicago, give Goldman & Ehrlich a call! With over 45 years of experience, our team can help you determine whether or not you have a case and then navigate the legal process. We’re here to help with any questions you may have regarding worker’s rights!