On January 1, 2017, the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act went into effect. It requires employers to allow employees to use their personal sick leave benefits for absences due to an illness, injury or medical appointment of the employee's child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent. The same terms would apply as if it were the employee taking time off for the employee's own medical needs.
The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act has been amended already
The most significant change to the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act is it extends the list of relatives covered under the Act to include stepchildren and domestic partners.
The inclusion of domestic partners is one more example of the Illinois legislature being one of the most progressive states in the U.S. in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights.
Additional amendments to the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act include: permitting an employer to request written verification of the employee’s absence so long as the current employer’s employment benefit plan or paid time off policy has the same verification requirement and provides that for employers who base personal sick leave benefits on an employee’s year of service, rather than an annual or monthly accrual, the employer may limit the amount of sick leave to be used for a family member to half of the employee’s maximum annual six time.
The amendments to the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act took effect on January 13, 2017. Therefore, Illinois employers must be in compliance with this change.
Illinois employers should review and, if needed, update their sick leave policies to make sure that the same rules that apply to the employee’s sick leave for personal medical needs also apply to the employee’s extended family.
If you need assistance with updating your Employee Handbooks and Policies and Procedures to conform with Illinois law, our employment law attorneys can help assure you are in compliance with the Illinois laws and provide training seminars to your human rights professional to assure that they properly identify covered absences. Contact Kristin D. Tauras for additional information about this topic and other employment law questions.