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Illinois Augments One Day Rest in Seven Requirements

Illinois employers must be mindful of amendments to the One Day Rest in Seven Act (the “Act”), which will come into effect on January 1, 2023. The amendments will impact the number of days a non-exempt employee can work in a row, the meal periods employees must receive and the penalties for violations of the Act.

The Act currently requires employers (with limited exception) to provide non-exempt employees with one day (24 hours) of rest during each calendar week. A calendar week under the Act runs Sunday through Saturday. Pursuant to the amendments to the Act, however, Illinois employers must provide employees with one day off during each consecutive seven-day period, regardless of the specific days encompassed by that seven-day period.

The amendments to the Act also alter an Illinois employer’s obligation to provide employees with meal periods. Currently, an employee who is to work 7.5 hours must receive a 20-minute meal period during the first five hours of the 7.5-hour period. Per the amendments, an employee who works 7.5 hours is also entitled to an additional meal period of 20 minutes for each additional 4.5 hours of work.

Violations of the Act are currently considered petty offenses and carry a fine of up to $100 per offense. Effective January 1, 2023, violations will be deemed civil offenses and carry a fine of up to $250 for employers with fewer than 25 employees, and up to $500 for employers with 25 or more employees. 

Illinois employers should promptly review their rest and meal break policies to prepare for the more stringent requirements of the Act.

© 2023 Vedder PriceNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 175

About this Author

Elizabeth N. Hall, Vedder Price Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney

Elizabeth N. Hall is a shareholder  in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Area.  Her experience includes defending employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies in all types of individual employee and class action labor and employment litigation including equal employment opportunity, wrongful and retaliatory discharge and wage and hour issues.  Ms. Hall has successfully argued procedural and employment discrimination issues in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and has particular expertise managing electronic discovery in complex...

Ryan Probasco Employment Attorney Vedder Price Chicago

Ryan Probasco is an Associate in Vedder Price’s Chicago office and a member of the Firm’s Labor and Employment group.

Ryan previously worked in the Firm’s Labor and Employment group as a paralegal from 2014 to 2020, and as a Summer Associate during the summer of 2020.  In those roles, Mr. Probasco assisted in defending clients' wage and hour and employment discrimination lawsuits; drafted and edited legal briefs; conducted witness interviews; and collected and reviewed electronically stored information.  Mr. Probasco has also helped employers...