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  • Writer's pictureRalph M. Tsong

How Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act Works

illinois surrogacy employment laws

In last week’s blog, we reviewed California's employment laws effective 2024 that affected families including surrogates and those using assisted reproduction. This week’s article addresses employment law changes in Illinois that indirectly affects surrogacy. 

Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois signed Senate Bill 208 Paid Leave for All Workers Act making one of fourteen US states that require paid time off, guaranteeing 40 hours of paid sick leave for workers. Effective January 1, 2024, the law will provide employees will earn one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked. This new bill grants employees who have children to be able to take time for medical appointments, childcare, and other important family matters. 

Prior law did not provide paid leave to care for sick family members. Many working families are unable to take unpaid days off because of the financial burden it might cause.  

Governor Pritzker reasons that this will help employees become more productive as they have more time to deal with stressors outside of work, family issues, and alleviate any burdens of working families. During leave, employees will receive their full wages, and tipped workers will be compensated at the minimum wage applicable in their respective locale.  

This legislation also marks a significant advancement for surrogacy and individuals utilizing assisted reproduction, as it grants family members, including spouses and partners, the opportunity to take paid leave for the comprehensive care and support of the surrogate. This encompasses accompanying the surrogate to medical appointments, offering emotional support, and assisting in prenatal check-ups, all without the financial sacrifice of income. 

The senate bill is inclusive of all employees within the jurisdiction of Illinois, including state and local government as well as government agencies. House Speaker Emanuel Welch states that the ability to have time off to care for a sick child or tend to one’s mental health should not be a luxury, but a basic right. This new law will recognize the added stress on working mothers and hopefully move to more healthy and compassionate workplaces. Notably, State Representative Camille Y. Lilly believes that paid leave is a necessary step to creating a state that is compassionate to the needs of working families. 


Senate Bill 208 ensures that workers can take time off when needed without sacrificing income, fostering a healthier work-life balance. While the amount of paid leave is small compared to paid disability leave in states such as California, New York and Washington, it is paid for by the employer rather than the state.  

This new bill provides a modicum of support to employees including those involved in surrogacy or utilizing assisted reproduction, enabling them to take time off for essential family matters such as medical appointments and childcare.  

If you require assistance with surrogacy legal matters, feel free to contact us for expert guidance and support. 


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