The Illinois One Day Rest in Seven Act (ODRISA), which requires employers to provide employees with at least one day of rest per week, has recently been amended. The amendments to the law, which went into effect in 2023, provide greater protection for employees who work more than 40 hours per week and ensure that they receive proper compensation for their overtime hours.

Under the amended law, employers are required to provide employees with written notice of their right to one day of rest per week. This notice must be provided to all new employees at the time of their hire, and to existing employees within 60 days of the effective date of the amendment. Employers must also “conspicuously” post notice in the workplace, provided by the Illinois Department of Labor, outlining employee rights under ODRISA and information on how to file a complaint. The notice must also include information about the employer’s policy regarding scheduling, including the process for requesting time off and the consequences of not giving proper notice.

In addition to these changes, the amended law also clarifies the definition of “day of rest.” Under the law, a “day of rest” is defined as 24 consecutive hours during which an employee is not required to perform any work in “every consecutive seven-day period,” and is no longer defined to be “calendar week.” This definition applies to all employees, regardless of their work schedule or the type of work they perform. The purpose of this clarification is to ensure that employees receive adequate time off each week to rest and recharge, and to prevent employers from exploiting their employees by requiring them to work seven days a week.

The amendments to the ODRISA also provide greater enforcement mechanisms for employees who are not provided with their required day of rest. Under the law, employees who are not provided with their required day of rest may file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor, which will investigate the matter and determine the appropriate remedy. The law also provides for civil penalties for employers who violate the law, including fines and payment of damages to affected employees, up to five times higher than the previous $100 limit and dependent on the size of the employer.

In conclusion, the amendments to the Illinois One Day Rest in Seven Act provide greater protection for employees with increased notice requirements, clarified definitions, and larger civil penalties that can be awarded to employees, incentivizing them to report ODRISA violations to the Department of Labor. If you are an employee in Illinois and have questions about your rights under the law, it is important to speak with an experienced employment law attorney who can help you understand your rights and advocate on your behalf. Emery Law’s Ethan White is an employment attorney who regularly files charges and lawsuits for employees who have been treated illegally at work. He has more than a decade of pure litigation experience, primarily focusing on employee-side employment disputes, including discrimination, wage and hour, and retaliation.  If you are dealing with workplace issues, you need an employment lawyer who will fight for you. Call today for a free initial consultation.