June 29, 2022

Volume XII, Number 180

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Illinois Expands Unpaid Bereavement Leave

On Friday, June 10, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed into law the Family Bereavement Leave Act (FBLA), which amends Illinois’ Child Bereavement Leave Act of 2016 (CBLA). Under the CBLA, an employer covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) currently is required to provide an FMLA-eligible employee with up to 10 working days of unpaid bereavement leave to attend the funeral of, make arrangements necessitated by the death of, or to grieve the death of, the employee’s child. With the FBLA amendment, employees will be eligible for leave relating to the loss of additional family members and for the loss of a planned family addition. The FBLA will be effective on January 1, 2023.

Under the FBLA, an employer must provide up to two weeks (10 working days) of unpaid leave to FMLA-eligible employees who are grieving the loss of a covered family member or event. The FBLA includes in the definition of “covered family member” an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, stepparent, or child. The FBLA also requires an employer to provide leave for certain events, including a miscarriage, an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination (or other type of assisted reproduction), a failed adoption, a failed surrogacy, a stillbirth, or a diagnosis that negatively impacts fertility. As with the original law, the FBLA will not require employers to provide employees with more unpaid leave than that available under the FMLA.

While an employer may not require an employee to identify the category of event necessitating FBLA leave, the employer is permitted to request reasonable documentation from the employee to support a leave request. For leave needed because of the loss of planned family addition, reasonable documentation includes documentation from the adoption or surrogacy agency associated with the loss, or a specific form from the Illinois Department of Labor that has been completed by the treating health care practitioner.

Employers are encouraged to review their leave policies and practices to ensure that they are compliant with the Family Bereavement Leave Act by its January 1, 2023 effective date.

© 2022 Vedder PriceNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 172
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About this Author

Elizabeth N. Hall, Vedder Price Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Shareholder

Elizabeth N. Hall is a shareholder  in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Area.  Her experience includes defending employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies in all types of individual employee and class action labor and employment litigation including equal employment opportunity, wrongful and retaliatory discharge and wage and hour issues.  Ms. Hall has successfully argued procedural and employment discrimination issues in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and has particular expertise managing electronic discovery in complex...

312-609-7795
Allison E. Czerniak Labor Lawyer Vedder Price Chicago Law Firm
Associate

Allison Czerniak is an Associate in Vedder Price’s Chicago office and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment group.

Ms. Czerniak is an experienced labor and employment Associate and is skilled in complex litigation matters involving employment discrimination, whistleblower claims, corporate governance, shareholder disputes, fraud, unfair competition, data privacy and general contract disputes. She has experience guiding her clients through all stages of federal and state civil litigation, including any resulting appeals. She also has...

312-609-7626
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