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, over 40 percent of all working people—and 80 percent of the lowest-paid working people—do not have access to a single paid sick day. Only 15 percent of 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, one-third 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 family and medical leave in Illinois. As the head of the Sick Time Chicago Coalition, WE joined our partners—including Arise Chicago, Chicago Foundation for Women, the Shriver Center, and UFCW—to win earned sick time ordinances in Chicago and Cook County, impacting over half a million working people.

In 2023, we expanded that victory statewide when we won the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2024. The new law provides 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 multi-state consortium of 27 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 champion the Illinois Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, a bill that would provide Illinois families with up to 12 weeks of comprehensive paid family and medical leave.

WE make sure people in Illinois, Chicago, and Cook County know their right to earn and use paid sick time, including partnering with Pride Action Tank so LGBTQ+ folks know they can care for their chosen family.

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

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!