Mandatory Time Off/Day of Rest Handbook Statement: Illinois

Author: Amy E. Mendenhall, Marissa L. Dragoo, Corinn Jackson, and Judith A. Paulson, Littler

When to Include This Statement

Illinois employers should consider including this statement in their handbook to indicate that certain employees will receive one day of rest in each calendar week and to demonstrate compliance with Illinois law.

The Illinois law requiring the day of rest contains exceptions for employees who are security guards or watchmen, part-time employees (working 20 hours per week or less), working in agriculture or coal mining or engaged in canning and processing of perishable agricultural products on a part-time or seasonal basis.

Customizable Handbook Statement

Mandatory Time Off/Day of Rest

The Company will provide nonexempt, nonsupervisory employees working more than 20 hours per week with at least one day (24 consecutive hours) of rest during every calendar week. Certain exceptions may apply, including for [insert all that are relevant: watchmen or security guards, employees working in agriculture or coal mining; employees engaged in canning and processing of perishable agricultural products on a part-time or seasonal basis; and employees whose services are needed to prevent injury or damage in case of machinery breakdown or other emergency].

Guidance for Employers

  • The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to pay their employees for time not worked, such as holidays. The same is true in the vast majority of states. These benefits are generally a matter of contract or policy between the employer and the employee.
  • A few states require that employees be given a day of rest each week and/or that employees be compensated at a premium rate for work performed on the seventh consecutive day of work.
  • Illinois law requires that certain employees be allowed at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every calendar week. This requirement does not apply to the following:
    • Part-time employees who do not work more than 20 hours a week;
    • Employees needed in case of breakdown of machinery or equipment or other emergency requiring the immediate services of experienced and competent labor to prevent injury or damage;
    • Employees employed in agriculture or coal mining;
    • Employees engaged in canning and processing of perishable agricultural products on a part-time or seasonable basis;
    • Watchmen or security guards;
    • Executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees, as defined by the FLSA, and supervisors as defined by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA); and
    • Certain crew members of an uninspected towing vessel operating in navigable waters in or along the state of Illinois.
  • The Illinois Director of Labor may also grant permits authorizing employment on a day of rest.
  • Before operating on a Sunday, employers must post a schedule of employees required or allowed to work on Sunday and designating a day of rest for each.