Paid Sick Time & Paid Leave

The Challenge

It’s universal. We all get sick. We all need time off work to care for ourselves and our families—paid time off, so that we don’t have to choose between our paycheck and our health. But we don’t all get it.

Nationally, nearly 23 percent of all working people—and more than 40 percent of the lowest-paid working people—do not have access to a single paid sick day. Only 1 in 4 working people in the U.S. get paid family leave through their employers. And while the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has allowed millions to take time off to deal with a serious illness or care for a new child without losing their jobs, more than 40 percent of working people do not qualify for FMLA, and millions more can’t afford to take unpaid leave.

When we get sick, when we bring a new child into our home, when our family members suffer an illness or injury, the ability to take time off shouldn’t be a luxury reserved for the lucky or the privileged. We shouldn’t have to fear losing our jobs. Every working person deserves paid sick time and paid family and medical leave.

What We're Doing

WE are leading the charge for paid leave in Illinois.

We joined partners and policymakers to win paid time off laws in Chicago, impacting over a million working people.

We also secured the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act, as well as paid time off in Cook County. The new laws provide working people across Illinois with the right to earn and use up to five days of paid time off for any reason.

Now WE are working to win paid family and medical leave in the state of Illinois, as well as nationally, advocating as a member of Family Values @Work, a consortium of state and local coalitions helping spur the growing movement for family-friendly workplace policies.

WE led the Illinois Paid Sick Days Coalition, a group of over 70 organizations that successfully fought for paid time off for all Illinois workers.

Learn more!

WE worked with partners across Chicago to win the most expansive paid time off law in the country. 

Work in Chicago? Learn your rights!

WE champion the Illinois Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, a bill that would provide Illinois families with  comprehensive paid family and medical leave for longer-term needs.

Learn about your rights to earn and use paid time off.

Work in Chicago?

Work in Cook County or Illinois?

Take Action

Know Your Rights

Whether you work in Chicago, suburban Cook County, or in Illinois, make sure you know your rights to paid sick time and paid time off.

Support Paid Leave

Act now to support the Illinois Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, and the federal FAMILY Act.

Share Your Story

Have you been sick but couldn’t take time off? Had a child without paid family leave? We want to hear from you.


Together, we will ensure more women, families, and communities can build their economic power and thrive.

All new or increased gifts will be matched by an anonymous donor!