Illinois Department of Labor explains workers’ time off rights

One day of rest per week and 20-minute meal periods for full time workers

Information provided by the Illinois Department of Labor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (January 8, 2020) – The old saying, “You have to work to get ahead,” has merit, but you also need some time off to be a good, healthy worker. In Illinois most full-time workers are legally entitled to time off each calendar week.

The One Day Rest in Seven Act (ODRISA) provides employees with a minimum of 24 hours of rest in each calendar week and a meal period of 20 minutes for every 7.5-hour shift beginning no later than five hours after the start of the shift. The law does not apply to part-time workers.

“While there are some exceptions to this law, most full-time workers have the right to meal breaks and a day of rest each calendar week,” said Michael Kleinik, director of the Illinois Department of Labor. “Workers can voluntarily choose to work more, but workers who believe they are improperly being denied time off should contact our office for assistance.”

The law defines a calendar week as seven consecutive 24-hour periods starting at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning and ending at midnight the following Saturday. Under this law, employers may ask IDOL for exceptions to the act by applying for permits to work employees the seventh day. If IDOL grants a permit, it requires a statement from the employer demonstrating that all employees who will be working seven days in a row are in fact volunteers. The number of permits granted in a year is limited.

The law also has exceptions for some employees, including farm workers and coal miners, security guards as well as workers classified by Federal law as executive, administrative, or professional.

The law specifies that a day of rest must be “in addition to the regular period of rest allowed at the close of each working day.”

Workers or employers who have questions regarding the One Day Rest in Seven Act can call 312-793-2800 or email DOL.ODRISA@illinois.gov  An online complaint form is also available at https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/forms/Documents/ODRISA%20Complaint%20Form.pdf

 

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