May 23, 2022

Volume XII, Number 143

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May 20, 2022

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Illinois Passes Family Caregivers Leave Law

Effective January 1, 2017, the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (the “Act”) will allow employees to use employer-provided personal sick leave benefits to care for an ill or injured family member or attend a medical appointment with a family member.  The Act defines an eligible family member—i.e., an  individual the employee is taking leave to care for—as a child (biological, adopted, step-relation, or legal ward), spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent in need of care during bouts of illness or injury or requiring transportation or other assistance related to a medical appointment.  Employers may limit the use of sick leave for family-related medical care issues to an amount equivalent to six months of accrued leave, and the Act does not limit the employer’s ability to set the terms and conditions of the use of sick leave benefits.

There are certain notable limitations.  While other states and cities (e.g., New York City, California, and Oregon) allow employees use of sick leave for family-related medical issues, in those locations, the use of sick leave for family care is part of a comprehensive sick leave law.  In contrast, the Act only applies to Illinois employers who maintain internal sick leave policies.  The Act also does not extend the maximum period of leave allowed under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Further, employers who maintain a general paid time off (“PTO”) policy will not be required to modify the policy if it already affords employees the opportunity to use PTO to care for an eligible family member’s healthcare needs.

© 2022 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 239
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About this Author

Steven J Pearlman, Labor Employment Law Firm, Proskauer Law firm
Partner

Steven Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the firm's Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, resident in the Chicago office. Steven’s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour laws and breaches of restrictive covenants (e.g., non-competition agreements). He has successfully tried cases to verdict before judges and juries in Illinois, Florida and California, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S....

312-962-3545
Sunghee W Sohn, Proskauer, collective bargainng lawyer, labor counseling attorney
Associate

Sunny Sohn is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the firm’s Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Sunny represents clients before federal and state courts as well administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

She counsels employers in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, transportation, hospitality, consulting...

312.962.3520
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