March 11, 2021
Authored by: Christy Phanthavong
With an express purpose of encouraging employees (and their family members) to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the Illinois Department of Labor (“IDOL”) recently issued guidance for employers regarding compensation and paid leave in connection with absences for vaccine appointments.
According to the IDOL:
Mandatory Vaccination: The time an employee spends to get the vaccine, when required to do so by the employer, is “likely compensable,” even if it is non-working time. Accordingly, employers should:
- provide paid leave; or
- otherwise compensate employees for such time.
Voluntary Vaccination: Employers are not required to provide compensation/paid leave for employees to obtain the vaccine when vaccination is not required by the employer; however, employers are encouraged to do so. Accordingly, employers should:
- allow employees to use sick leave, vacation time, or other paid leave;
- consider offering employees “flex” time so that they do not have to take unpaid leave; or
- allow employees to “flexibility” to take time off unpaid.
Family Vaccination: Under the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (effective Jan. 1, 2017), depending on how an employer handles employee use of paid sick leave benefits, the employer may be required to allow employees to use paid sick