With 2023 fast approaching, employers should be aware of two significant changes to Illinois employment laws going into effect on January 1, 2023. Philip Pence’s article Illinois Employment Law Updates for 2023 published in the ISBA Labor & Employment Section’s December 2022 Newsletter is available now.

If you have any questions regarding changes to the One Day Rest in Seven Act, Family Bereavement Leave Act, or any other employment law issues, contact Eric Chovanec and Philip Pence.


Effective January 1, 2023, changes are coming to The One Day Rest in Seven Act and the Family Bereavement Leave Act. Here is what employers and practitioners need to know about the amendments to these two laws:

One Day Rest in Seven Act

The One Day Rest in Seven Act (ODRISA) defines the protection Illinois workers receive when working consecutive days, as well as protections for meal periods. On May 13, 2022, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 3146, amending ODRISA for 2023.

  • What is the current law: ODRISA currently provides for employees a minimum of 24 hours of rest in each calendar week. Further, for employees working 7.5 hours continuously, the Act requires at least 20 minutes for a meal period beginning no later than five hours after the start of the work period.
  • Changes to Consecutive Days in 2023: Rather than being defined by a “calendar week,” the amended law requires “at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in every consecutive seven-day period.” For employers, this means that the ODRISA calculation is no longer based on the Sunday through Saturday work week, but rather on any consecutive days worked. For instance, if a covered Illinois employee works six consecutive days spanning across two calendar weeks (e.g., Thursday through Saturday and Sunday through Tuesday), the worker is entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest on the seventh consecutive day (in this example, Wednesday).
  • Meal Break Changes: Beginning in 2023, employees working greater than 7½-hour shifts will still receive their 20-minute meal break, and will also receive “an additional 20-minute meal period for every additional 4½ continuous hours worked.” This means that an employee working a continuous twelve-hour shift will now be entitled to two unpaid meal periods under Illinois law.
  • Who is covered: ODRISA applies to employers with one or more employees in Illinois. Exclusions apply for part-time workers, exempt workers (such as those defined by the FLSA), and workers with hours and meal/rest periods established through collective bargaining agreements.
  • Penalties: Each violation of the weekly (seven days) or daily (meal break) provisions of the Act will be treated as “separate offenses” which are determined “on an individual basis for each employee whose rights are violated.” This means that an employer who violates the Act for multiple employees on multiple days or weeks can face numerous offenses multiplied by numerous employees—a penalty scheme that can quickly add up for employers with ongoing violations against multiple employees. The specific penalty per each violation varies depending on the size of the employer.
  • Notice: Illinois employers must conspicuously post notice of the Act at the workplace. Remote employees should be provided notice via email or online via a website regularly used by the employer to communicate work-related information.

Family Bereavement Leave Act

The Child Bereavement Leave Act was amended by Senate Bill 3120, as signed by Governor Pritzker on June 9, 2022. Under the amended law, employers have expanded leave requirements, but may requested “reasonable documentation” from employees seeking leave.

  • What is the current law: The Child Bereavement Leave Act currently provides a maximum of 2 weeks (10 workdays) of unpaid bereavement time following the death of a child. Employees may be entitled to up to 6 weeks of bereavement time in the event of the death of more than one child during a twelve-month period.
  • Expanded Leave in 2023: Under the amendment, the Act expands to cover bereavement leave not just for the death of a child, but will also now include:
    • A miscarriage
    • An unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure
    • A failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party
    • A failed surrogacy agreement
    • A diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility
    • A stillbirth

The Act requires providing 2 weeks (10 workdays) of unpaid leave for employees attending the funeral, grieving the death of, or making arrangements necessitated by the death of a “covered family member.”

  • “Covered Family Member” Expanded: The amended Act expands “covered family members” for purposes of the events above to include children, stepchildren, spouses, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandchildren, grandparents, stepparents, and domestic partners (defined broadly by the Act as adults who are in a committed relationship).
  • Documentation: Employers may request “reasonable documentation” from the employee certifying the covered event for the requested leave, including:
    • An IDOL form from the doctor or medical professional who gave the treatment
    • Documentation from the adoption or surrogacy agency or organization

Employees are not required to disclose the exact reason or category of event underlying the leave request, they only must provide the required documentation from the medical professional, agency, or organization.

  • Who is covered: For employers, public and private employers with at least 50 employees are covered by the Act. For employees, an employee is eligible after 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the prior 12-month period.