Skip to main content

One Day Rest in Seven Act FAQ

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provided below highlight topics and specific questions that are often asked of the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). The information provided in the FAQs is intended to enhance public access and understanding of IDOL laws, regulations and compliance information. 

The FAQs should not be considered a substitute for the appropriate official documents (i.e. statute and/or administrative rules.) Individuals are urged to consult legal counsel of their choice. Court decisions may affect the interpretation and constitutionality of statutes. The Department cannot offer individuals legal advice or offer advisory opinions. If you need a legal opinion, we suggest you consult your own legal counsel. These FAQs are not to be considered complete and do not relieve employers from complying with applicable IDOL laws and regulations.

1. Can my employer require me to work seven days in a row?

The One Day Rest in Seven Act, as its name implies, allows for at least 24 hours of rest every seven consecutive days. Under this Act, employers may ask IDOL for a relaxation of this requirement for employees to volunteer to work a seventh day. If IDOL grants a relaxation, it requires a statement from the employer demonstrating that all employees who will be working seven days in a row are in fact volunteers. For more information, visit the ODRISA page. (820 ILCS 140/2) (8 and 56 Ill. Adm. 220.200 - 220.700)​​​​​

(Effective January 1, 2023)

2. An employee wants to work through their meal break, is that permitted?

An employer may not force an employee to work through a meal break. As such, employees must be permitted to take a meal break for every 7.5 hours worked no later than 5 hours after the start of the shift. An additional 20-minute meal break must be permitted if working a 12-hour shift or longer. If an employee works through a meal break, they must be paid.

3. Are the 20-minute breaks the only time an employee can use the restroom facilities?

No. Employees must be afforded reasonable restroom breaks that do not count against their meal break.

4. I am represented by a Union, am I entitled to the one day off per week and meal breaks?

The day off and meal breaks do not apply to employees whose meal periods and days off are governed by collective bargaining agreements. However, if a collective bargaining agreement does not specify meal breaks or a day off, ODRISA provisions apply.

5. If an employer is found in violation of ODRISA, what are the penalties?

Employers with fewer than 25 employees are subject to damages payable to the employee of up to $250 per offense, and a penalty payable to the Department of up to $250 per employee per offense. Employers with 25 employees or more are subject to damages payable to the employee of up to $500 per offense, and a penalty payable to the Department of up to $500 per worker per offense. Each day a meal period is not provided to an employee and each consecutive 7-day period in which an employee is not provided with 24 hours off shall constitute a separate offense per employee.