June 13, 2021

Volume XI, Number 164

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June 11, 2021

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Illinois Amends Employee Sick Leave Act to Cover Personal Care for Family Members

The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (ESLA) has been amended to require employers to allow employees to take personal sick leave for absences due to “personal care of a covered family member.”

Originally enacted in 2017, the ESLA requires employers who provide personal sick leave benefits to employees to allow them to take personal sick leave for absences related to medical care of family members. (For details, see our article, New Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act Mandates Greater Flexibility on Use of Leave Benefits.) Employers must allow employees to take personal sick leave for absences due to the illness, injury, or medical appointment of covered family members, including the employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, and stepparent.

Effective April 27, 2021, the ESLA requires employers to allow employees to take personal sick leave for an additional reason: “personal care” of covered family members. The amended ESLA now covers “activities to ensure that a covered family member’s basic medical, hygiene, nutritional, or safety needs are met, or to provide transportation to medical appointments, for a covered family member who is unable to meet those needs himself or herself.” It also covers “being physically present to provide emotional support to a covered family member with a serious health condition who is receiving inpatient or home care.”

Employers may limit the amount of personal sick leave used for the care of family members to half of an employee’s yearly sick leave benefits. They may not deny employees the right to use personal sick leave benefits as provided in the ESLA or retaliate against employees for exercising their rights under the ESLA.

Employers who have employees in Illinois should review their sick leave policies to ensure compliance with these new requirements. Further, employers whose employees work in Chicago and covered jurisdictions in Cook County should consider the impact the amendment will have on their paid sick leave policies under the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 133
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About this Author

Kathryn Moran, Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Kathryn Montgomery Moran is a Principal and the Office Litigation Manager of the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She has extensive litigation experience in individual and class action cases in state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

When disputes cannot be resolved by agreement or dismissed on technical grounds, Ms. Moran tries cases before juries, judges, administrative law judges and arbitrators. She has successfully defended employers accused of the following: age, sex, race, disability and...

312-787-4949
Associate

Anderson C. Franklin is an Associate in the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling. 

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Franklin was a litigator for a Chicago law firm. He has also worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Sara Ellis in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Honorable John Baker in the Indiana Court of Appeals. While attending law school, he served as a Managing Editor for the ...

312-803-2534
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