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In july of 2017 my company told us we would be able to carry…

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In july of 2017...

In july of 2017 my company told us we would be able to carry over up to 20 hrs of sick time. On Jan 2nd of this year we were notified by email that all our sick time would be forfeited now. we were supposed to be notified by november 30th, but my boss forgot to send us the email. so many assocaites lost this time

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Illinois cook county

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
In July of 2017 we were specifically told by an HR representative via email that associates would be allowed to carry over 20 hrs of sick pay. On December 23th, the end of the calendar year, the sick pay policy changed for 2018. Sick time would now not be able to be carried over. On Nov 30th a corporate HR rep emailed my district manager to notify him of the new policy and that all associates would need to take their sick time before the calendar year ends. My district manager dropped the ball and forgot to send us the email and did not send it to us till January 2nd causing us all to unknowingly lose our sick time with no chance of taking it. The company is saying tough luck you lose it. It's a public corporation in cook county, IL
Answered in 8 minutes by:
1/6/2018
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,223
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Unfortunately, employers are not required to offer any paid sick leave at all in Illinois. What this regrettably means is that the law does not restrict an employer's ability to take such time away, without notice, at any time. So, I'm afraid to say that despite being extremely unfair, you are not describing an illegal employment practice. I truly wish I could tell you otherwise.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
It became a law on july 1st
The Cook County Board voted to require that employers give workers paid sick time, bringing the suburbs in line with a Chicago law approved in June.The county ordinance, which largely mirrors the city's and also goes into effect July 1, allows employees to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked. Employees can accrue a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, or about five work days, unless their employer sets a higher limit.Cook County joins nearly 30 local jurisdictions across the country that have adopted paid sick leave laws in recent years in the absence of a broad federal law. The U.S. Department of Labor late last month issued a final rule requiring that federal contractors let employees earn up to seven paid sick days a year.
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Thank you. I'm reading through the local ordinance right now....

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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

With regard to carrying over unused sick leave, the Cook County ordinance provides as follows:

"At the end of a Covered Employee's 12-month accrual period, he or she shall be allowed to carry over to the following 12-month period half of his or her unused accrued Earned Sick Leave, up to a maximum of 20 hours."

This provision is slightly unclear, in my opinion, because "shall be allowed" could be interpreted as being something that is the employer's OPTION. Alternatively, the "shall" could be interpreted as making this allowance mandatory. I think you could certainly point this provision out to your employer and explain that they are in violation of the new law. You can find the actual law here.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
We were specifically told via email by a Senior HR rep that we could carry over 20 hours. My question is can a class action lawsuit be filed for all the employees that they took sick time away from.
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I'm not sure a class action would benefit you in any way. Class actions are very cumbersome and there are a lot of additional procedural requirements. Typically the better course of action would just be to pursue a small claims lawsuit yourself. You could allege breach of contract and detrimental reliance, since you relied on your employer's representation that you would be able to carry over 20 hours.

Part of the problem with a lawsuit over sick pay, though, is that you have no idea whether you would ever wind up actually needing to use the time, since you can never foresee whether you are going to get sick. If you don't actually wind up needing the time, you have suffered no financial loss as a result of that time being taken away from you. So, I think this might be a problem you face in pursuing a claim.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
okay thank you
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

You are welcome.

It's always better to avoid a lawsuit if possible, and I think here that can likely be done by point out the provision I cited above. Employers realize that lawsuits cost a lot of time and money to defend, and your employer probably doesn't realize they are (arguably) violating the law here.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

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