US | Illinois expands the scope of unpaid Bereavement leaves available to employees

On 9th June 2022, JB Pritzker, Governor of State of Illinois passed an amendment act to amend the Child Bereavement Leave Act, 2016 by broadening the scope of Bereavement laws. Now, an employee is allowed to take leaves in situations of loss of loved ones.

Background: Initiated by a teenage volunteer Kyra, puts it rightly about the grief which people go through when they face challenges of personal losses such as, loss of family member, pregnancy loss, unsuccessful reproductive procedures, failed adoptions etc. she has been under State Senate Melinda Bush, who originally proposed the bill.

New provisions cover all such losses making the loss bearable to an extent where an employee is relieved of any fear of any inconvenience at work.

Key Amendments:

  1. Taking Support Through Loss Act, the amendment expands the time period allowed to the employees to grieve about their ‘family’. The amendment changes Section 1, the title of the Act, from ‘Child’ to ‘FamilyBereavement Act, 2016, clearly widening the scope of the provisions of this Act.
  2. Means of Reproductive, other than sexual intercourse, which are assisted through medical support are now included in the definition clause of the Act by adding “Assisted reproduction” to Section 5.
  3. Covers Whom?

Department of Labor, has now brings immediate family members also under the purview to cover them under this law. With insertion of definition of ‘Covered Family Member’ under Section 5, a person is allowed to take leaves for 10 work days when they face losses of members—

Grandchildren/parents, In-laws, step-family in addition to spouse (married/unmarried) and children.

  1. The definition of Spouse will now include the persons who are ‘domestic partners’ of the employee. This simply includes all the people living together with or without being married to each other and this relationship of theirs is a recognised as a civil union.
  2. How many leaves allowed?

Maximum of 2 weeks (10 work days) is permitted to employees covered under Section 101(2) of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

  1. Leaves allowed for?

Employees are given the liberty to remain absent from work in case of-

  1. Attend funeral
  2. Make necessary arrangements after death of the ‘covered family’ member [definition inserted under Section 5].
  3. When employee goes through miscarriage, unsuccessful reproductive procedures, unsuccessful adoptions, failed surrogacy, etc.
  4. With the prior notice to employer, the employee may take leave within 60 days from the death of the ‘covered family’ member. The notice of the leave should be given to employer at least 48 hours before taking the leave.
  5. Obligatory documentation required?

Under Section 10, if required, the employer may demand documents related to the information of the death of the family member. These include – death certificate, mortuary certificate, funeral documents, and other written verifications of the death.

 


*Shubhi Srivastava, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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