Chamber Advantage

December 10th, 2023

Ah, the holiday season, where the air buzzes with festive melodies, making it truly the most wonderful time of the year. There's something magical about the collective busyness shared among colleagues and friends, as we all sprint towards holiday break, only to ease into a well-deserved chill until the new year. It's a delightful chaos that we all willingly embrace, like a dance of shared excitement.

Personally, the holidays mean finding that perfect gift that brings joy to someone special, indulging in the sweet aroma of cookies filling the air, and savoring the sprint-like pace that culminates in a serene pause before the new year begins. And speaking of festive spirit, did you know our local Chamber hosts a whopping six holiday gatherings amidst all the programming and internal affairs? It's a fa-la-la-la extravaganza, adding an extra layer of joy to the season. So, let the festivities commence, and let's embrace the magic that makes this time of the year truly enchanting!

Darien Marion-Burton

Executive Director

OPRF Chamber of Commerce


Plan Your Week!

Like to plan ahead?

Here are some events we have coming up over the next week so you can register now and receive a reminder right before the event.

Come join us for these wonderful networking opportunities and continue to grow your business!

Tuesday Dec 12, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM -

Business After Hours - Byline Bank

Join us at our regular monthly networking event - but this month for the special holiday version! Business After Hours (BAH) occur on the second Tuesday of every month at a new location each time. This is your chance to connect with other members in a more casual setting. 

This Holiday Business After Hours will be hosted by Byline Bank at their Oak Park location at 1001 Lake Street. The Holiday BAH is always one of the biggest Chamber networking events of the year - expect 100+ attendees, delicious food, festive decor, and a celebratory spirit in the air! 


Friday Dec 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM -

Sit-Down Chamber Lunch at Salerno's!

Join us for a Chamber sit-down luncheon! A business lunch in a casual setting, with little group networking. Come enjoy the food while you connect and get to know Chamber members.

Where Are We Eating This Month? At Salerno's - a classic Oak Park destination, in the same family for generations!

Cost includes entree, tax, and tip! Our menu will include lemon chicken, rigatoni with vodka sauce, pizza, and salad, served family-style. Please let us know if you have dietary restrictions - Salerno's is happy to accommodate! RSVP to join us for a delicious meal!


Friday Dec 15, 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM -

Ribbon Cutting at Self-Help Federal Credit Union

Come celebrate with us! Ribbon cuttings provide an opportunity to welcome and connect with a new business, network with other attendees, and celebrate our growing business community. Connecting business to business, and business to community.

This week we'll be celebrating Self-Help Federal Credit Union, now open in Oak Park! We'll be celebrating this new business, taking pictures of the ribbon cutting, and enjoying a great networking opportunity! Come meet the staff and discover all the products and services they offer! 


Plan Your Month!

Like to plan ahead?

Here are some events we have coming up over the next month so you can register now and receive a reminder right before the event.

Come join us for these wonderful networking opportunities and continue to grow your business!

Monday Dec 18, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM -

BIPOC Affinity Group

Join us for our holiday end-of-year party at Civinte Candle Bar! The evening will feature networking, games, and/or making a custom candle, room spray, or diffuser! Civinte is gifting us with 20% off on any of these last 3 - a handcrafted scent makes a great personalized gift for someone, or a signature for your own space!


This is also a holiday potluck event - bring a dish or dessert to share. Use the Google sign-up link to let us know what you're bringing.

The party is on - see you there!


Tuesday Jan 9, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM -

Business After Hours-First United Methodist Church of Oak Park

Join us at our regular monthly networking event, Business After Hours (BAH), on the second Tuesday of every month. All members and non-members are welcomed. (Members are free.) Connecting business to business, business to community.

We are meeting this month at First United Methodist Church of Oak Park. Come join us for our first event in this beautiful space as we kick off the Chamber's "Dry January"!  

First United Methodist Church of Oak Park was the first established congregation to settle in the Oak Park area. Led by the Rev. Adonna Reid, the church lives out core values of serving others, working for justice, and growing in faith. It's a congregation that is open to all and engaged in our community.


Illinois Paid Leaves Begin January 1


Starting on January 1, 2024, employees in Illinois will accrue Paid Leave, which they’ll be able to use for any purpose. The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has published FAQs for employers. IDOL is also working on final rules that will clarify how the law should be applied—those should be released no later than March 31, 2024. In the meantime, a draft of the proposed rules was filed November 3, 2023. 


Paid Leave applies to employers of all sizes and almost all employees, with limited exceptions. 

Employers that are covered by a municipal or county ordinance that requires them to provide any form of paid leave to employees (currently Chicago and Cook County) should continue to follow those municipal or county requirements for employees in those locations. Note that employers located in Cook County must provide state Paid Leave if they’re in a municipality that opted out of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.

Accrual and Carryover 

Employees will accrue Paid Leave at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. Employers can calculate exempt employee accrual based on a 40-hour workweek (even if the employee generally works more than that) or they can use their normal work schedule if they regularly work less than 40 hours. 

Employers can cap accrual at 40 hours per year. Unused Paid Leave must be carried over from year to year. (The proposed rules suggest that carryover can be capped at 80 hours per year, but you can still limit use to 40 hours per year, as covered below.)


Instead of using an accrual system, employers can frontload an employee’s Paid Leave bank at the beginning of each year (or on a new hire’s first day of employment), in which case they don’t need to allow carryover of unused Paid Leave. Employers will need to frontload 40 hours of Paid Leave for most employees. However, according to the FAQs, employers can prorate this lump sum for part-time employees, and, per the proposed rules, employers can prorate hours for full-time employees hired mid-benefit year. If an employer chooses to prorate for part-time employees, but they ultimately work more hours than anticipated, they must accrue additional Paid Leave for the extra hours worked.


Employees can begin to use their Paid Leave on March 31, 2024, or after 90 days of employment, whichever is later. Employers can cap use of leave at 40 hours per year.

Employees are entitled to determine how much Paid Leave to use, though employers can require them to use their Paid Leave in increments as large as two hours, or their entire workday if it’s shorter than two hours. Paid Leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay or minimum wage if the employer usually relies on tips or commissions to bring the employee to minimum wage.

Employers can’t require employees to provide the reason for the leave or documentation to support their need for Paid Leave.

As is standard with sick leave laws, employers can’t require that an employee find their own coverage or deny them leave if a replacement worker can’t be found. 


Employers are required to post a notice about employees’ Paid Leave rights in a conspicuous location where notices are usually displayed. They also need to provide written notice of these rights to employees by March 31, 2024, or upon hire, whichever is later. Per the proposed rules, if employers usually communicate with employees by electronic means (email or messaging app), the notice should be provided electronically. IDOL will create the required notice by the end of 2023.

The proposed rules also suggest that employers will need to provide an employee’s Paid Leave balance on each paystub.


Employers aren’t required to pay out unused Paid Leave when an employee quits or is terminated. Employees who are rehired within 12 months of separation must have their unused Paid Leave restored.

Existing Policies 

Employers can use their existing vacation or paid time off (PTO) policy to fulfill their obligations under the new Paid Leave law, as long as the policy provides at least 40 hours of paid leave that employees can use for any reason. If employers use their existing vacation or PTO policy to fulfill their Paid Leave requirements, unused time must be paid out when an employee leaves employment (as required for vacation and paid time off under state law).

Action Items 

  • Add a Paid Leave policy to your handbook or, if you already have a vacation leave or PTO policy that you want to use to comply with the law, review it and update as needed to ensure compliance
  • Keep an eye out for the Paid Leave poster from the Illinois Department of Labor and, when it’s available, post it at each worksite 
  • Provide the written notice (either individually or in a handbook) to employees by March 31, 2024, or upon hire, whichever is later
  • Review the FAQs available on IDOL’s website 
  • If you thirst for more knowledge, plan to attend a Paid Leave webinar hosted by IDOL

Office of the President

Minimum Wage Increase - January 1, 2024


On December 1, Cook County issued a notice to employees regarding the Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO).

Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum wage for non-tipped workers increases to $14.00 and the minimum wage for tipped workers increases to $8.40. These increases are required in alignment with the Illinois State minimum wage. 

The updated "Notice to Employees" and "Frequently Asked Questions" documents are available here.

Employees who believe their employer is not paying the required minimum wage should first check to ensure the municipality where they work does not have a different minimum wage. If the municipality has not opted out, employees can file a complaint with the Cook County Commission on Human Rights. Complaint forms and additional information can be found online.

Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce

141 S Oak Park Avenue

Suite 3


[email protected]

This eBlast was sent out by the OPRF Chamber of Commerce on behalf of a member in good standing as a member benefit. For information about the event described please contact the host. For information about joining the Chamber, click our website below.

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