Illinois recently enacted amendments to the state’s Child Bereavement Leave Act, which expand the circumstances for which bereavement leave is available. Effective January 1, 2023, the bereavement leave law will be known as the Family Bereavement Leave Act and the full text can be found here.
Please note that while the federal Family Medical Leave Act does not extend to bereavement leave, the new Illinois law does.
Covered Employers: public and private employers with at least 50 employees and employees who have worked 1,250 hours for the employer during the prior 12-month period.
Covered Family Members: children, stepchildren, spouses, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandchildren, grandparents, stepparents and domestic partners (“domestic partners” include adults who are in a committed relationship and is not limited to legally recognized partnerships).
Type of Leave: up to two weeks (10 workdays) of unpaid bereavement leave for employees to:
- Attend the funeral or alternative to a funeral of a covered family member.
- Make arrangements necessitated by the death of the covered family member.
- Grieve the death of the covered family member.
- Be absent from work due to:
- A miscarriage or stillbirth.
- An unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or an assisted reproductive technology procedure.
- A failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party.
- A failed surrogacy agreement.
- A diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility.
In the event of the death of more than one covered family member in a 12-month period, an employee is entitled to up to six total weeks of bereavement leave during the 12-month period.
- An employee has to provide the employer with at least 48 hours’ notice of the employee’s intention to take bereavement leave, unless providing this notice is not reasonable and practicable.
- Bereavement leave must be completed within 60 days after the employee receives notice of the death of the covered family member or the date on which a miscarriage, stillbirth, failed adoption or surrogacy agreement, or other covered fertility-related reason occurs.
- An employer cannot require employees to identify which category of event the leave pertains to as a condition of taking leave, but an employer can require reasonable documentation to substantiate the leave.
Penalties: The civil penalties for violating the bereavement leave law or retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law:
- for a first offense, a civil penalty of up to $500 for each employee affected.
- for a second or subsequent offense, a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each employee affected.
What should you do as an employer: If you are covered by the Family Bereavement Leave Act, update your policies and practices with respect to bereavement leave immediately.
If you would like to discuss or have more information on the content of this post, please contact us. The attorneys at Boodell & Domanskis are available to answer your questions about any general issues concerning your business.