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Illinois Expands Employee Bereavement Leave Requirement

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Illinois has amended the state’s Child Bereavement Act and renamed it the Family Bereavement Leave Act. The amendments provide additional reasons for bereavement leave, including for the deaths of employees’ family members and for failed pregnancies, fertility treatments and adoptions. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Illinois Child Bereavement Leave

Illinois allows certain employees to take child bereavement leave. Information about the Illinois Child Bereavement Act is presented in the chart below.

NOTE: Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the Child Bereavement Act is renamed the Family Bereavement Act, with expanded reasons for leave, as explained below.

Which Employees and Employers Are Covered?Employers with 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.Employees who:Have worked for their employer for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before the leave;Work at a location within 75 miles of which their employer employs at least 50 people; andHave worked for the employer for at least 12 months (not required to be consecutive).
Must an Employer Compensate Leave?No. However, an employee may substitute any period of paid or unpaid leave to which he or she is entitled for an equivalent period of bereavement leave.
How Much Leave May an Employee Use?10 work days, or 6 weeks in the event of the death of more than one child (more than one covered family member, effective Jan. 1, 2023) in a 12-month period.
For What Purpose May an Employee Use Leave?To attend the funeral (or funeral alternative) of his or her child;To make arrangements necessitated by his or her child’s death; orTo grieve his or her child’s death.  *“Child” means an employee’s son or daughter who is a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.Effective Jan. 1, 2023, eligible employees may take leave 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; orBe absent from work due to a miscarriage, unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure, a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested, a failed surrogacy agreement, a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility, or a stillbirth.*“Covered family member” means an employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent.

*Bereavement leave must be completed within 60 days of the employee receiving notice of the child’s/covered family member’s death.
May Employers Require Notice When Employees Use Leave?Yes. If reasonable and practicable, the employee must provide the employer with at least 48 hours’ advance notice.
May Employers Require Documentation of the Need for Leave?Yes, an employer may require reasonable documentation, which may include:A death certificate;A published obituary; orWritten verification of death, burial, or memorial services from a mortuary, funeral home, burial society, crematorium, religious institution, or government agency.Effective Jan. 1, 2023, for leave for a category 4 reason (above), reasonable documentation is limited to a form to be provided by the Illinois Department of Labor, to be filled out by a treating health care provider of the employee’s spouse, domestic partner or surrogate, or documentation from an adoption or surrogacy organization, as appropriate, certifying that the employee or their spouse or domestic partner has experienced an event listed under category 4. The employer may not require that the employee identify which category of event the leave pertains to.
How Does the Law Interact with FMLA?Employees are not entitled to take unpaid leave for child bereavement that exceeds, or is in addition to, leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Additional requirements and exceptions to the information above may apply. For more information, contact the Illinois Department of Labor.

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.

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