Illinois to Expand Bereavement Leave in 2023
On June 9, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed the Family Bereavement Leave Act (formerly titled the Child Bereavement Leave Act, 820 ILCS 154/1 et seq.) into law. The statute (SB 3120) will take effect on January 1, 2023, and its applicability mirrors that of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), applying to employers (including public employers) with at least 50 employees and employees who have worked for such employers for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours in the preceding 12-month period.
The Act provides up to 10 days of unpaid leave to an employee who is absent due to a miscarriage; an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure (e.g., artificial insemination or embryo transfer); a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party; a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility, or; a stillbirth. The Act also permits employers to request reasonable documentation to support a leave request, but prohibits the employer from requiring the employee to identify which qualifying provision applies to the leave request. The Illinois Department of Labor is to provide a form for physicians to complete in support of such requests.
Finally, the Act expands employees’ rights to bereavement leave, from the loss of a “child” to that of a “covered family member,” defined to include the employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.
Notably, the employee cannot take unpaid leave that exceeds the leave time permitted under the FMLA.
Employers should take care to update their existing handbooks and policies regarding this new leave law in 2022. For assistance in drafting and implementing such policies, please contact the author of this post. You can also subscribe to this blog to receive email alerts when new posts go up.