Your employee handbook sets the tone for your company—and can protect you from liability. Whether you’re hiring in Illinois alone, or in all 50 states, it’s crucial that you are aware of the Illinois employee handbook requirements and ensure it complies with state and federal laws.

Did you know that Illinois employee handbooks have 20 required policies, and nearly 50 optional policies? When you create your Illinois employee handbook, you must ensure that it includes all the mandatory policies, as well as that any additional policies are legally compliant. Plus, each time the law changes, you’ll need to update the affected handbooks accordingly.

That’s a lot of work—and if you’re hiring outside counsel for the task, it can get expensive very quickly. Hiring remotely means you have access to top talent across the country, but it also means you’ll need a state-specific employee handbook for each new state.

Luckily, SixFifty makes it easy to get into compliance, and stay that way. Read on to learn what’s required in your Illinois handbook, and how we can handle the heavy lifting.

Illinois state flag

Required Federal Employee Handbook Policies

Because federal law is the supreme law of the land, mandatory federal policies are included in every employee handbook, regardless of state. The five mandatory policies protect basic worker rights, from taking leave to sexual harassment and anti-discrimination provisions.

When these laws are changed, it’s incumbent upon you to update all of your employee handbooks with the new information. For instance, if the equal employment policies are updated to include new provisions, you’d need to update handbooks in all 50 states.

Each of the following policies must be included in your employee handbook:

  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (50 Employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy

Required Illinois Employee Handbook Policies

Illinois also requires 15 additional employee handbook policies. Some of these policies overlap with federal policies: states are welcome to elaborate upon federal law and tailor them for local concerns, as long as it doesn’t conflict with federal law.

Note that certain required policies are limited to companies of a certain size, while paid sick leave policies are only for Chicago and Cook County. Which policies apply to your company will depend on its size and location.

Don’t forget these 15 required Illinois employee handbook policies:

  • Bereavement Leave (50 Employees)
  • Blood Donor Leave (51 Employees)
  • Civil Air Patrol Leave (15 Employees)
  • Domestic Violence Leave (15 Employees)
  • Election Judge Leave (25 Employees)
  • Emergency Worker Leave
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Meal and Rest Breaks
  • Military Service Leave
  • Paid Sick Leave (for Chicago and Cook County)
  • Paid Time Off
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and Childrearing Leave
  • School Visitation Leave (50 Employees)
  • Voting Leave
  • Witness Duty Leave

Optional Illinois Employee Handbook Policies

In addition to the 20 required policies, there are also 48 optional Illinois state policies to choose from. Many of these policies are broadly applicable to every company, such as payment of wages, overtime and at-will employment policies.

Others may only be applicable depending on your business model. For instance, if you allow remote work, you may wish to add a telecommuting and videoconference policy. Transportation companies may add a policy governing the use of electronic devices while driving. Pick and choose the policies that meet your company’s specific needs.

Choose from these optional Illinois policies:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Crime Victim Leave
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Holidays
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Public Relations Policy
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy
  • Timekeeping Policy
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy

SixFifty Helps Employers Meet Illinois Employee Handbook Requirements

Creating, researching and updating your employee handbooks is time-consuming—but failing to do so exposes your business to liability. Every time state and federal law changes, you should update your employee handbook. Instead of burdening your in-house legal team or hiring outside counsel, SixFifty has the solution.

In our Employee Handbook tool, we’ve paired the convenience of automation with real legal expertise, so creating and updating state-specific employee handbooks is easier than ever. Simply answer a few questions about your company, download the generated files and have your lawyer review and approve. Plus, we update our products monthly, so staying compliant is a snap.

Questions? Want to see how it works? Schedule a free demo with SixFifty today!


Meili Bell

Written by Meili Bell

Meili Bell is the Content Manager at SixFifty. She spends her workdays writing, editing, project managing and reading about the intersection of law and technology. Meili comes to SixFifty from Gifted Music School, a nonprofit music school for the most dedicated young musicians in the region, where she was program director of the school’s flagship program for the last ten...

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