Illinois Expands Family Bereavement Law

On June 9, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Illinois Support Through Loss Act (IL Senate Bill 3120), which expanded the reach of the state’s Child Bereavement Leave Act. Currently, only a few states offer bereavement leave, though many have recently begun proposing similar bills offering more protections in this area. Effective January 1, 2023, the Illinois Support Through Loss Act contains the following provisions: 

Eligible Employees: Employee eligibility is defined by the same requirements as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 

Covered Employers: Employers covered by the federal FMLA are required to provide leave mandated by this law. 

Covered Leave Reasons: Previously, eligible employees were entitled to two weeks (10 workdays) of unpaid bereavement leave for certain activities related to the death of their child. Employees may now take leave for those activities for broader family members, including a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent. Employees can take leave to: 

  • attend the funeral or alternative to a funeral of a covered family member 
  • make arrangements necessitated by the death of the covered family member 
  • grieve the death of the covered family member. 

Additionally, employees are now entitled to be absent from work due to (i) a miscarriage; (ii) an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure; (iii) a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party; (iv) a failed surrogacy agreement; (v) a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility; or (vi) a stillbirth. 

In the event of a death of more than one covered family member in a 12-month period, an employee is entitled to a total of six weeks of bereavement leave during the 12-month period.  

The amendment also updates the name of the Child Bereavement Leave Act to the Family Bereavement Leave Act. 

Employee Documentation: An employer can, but is not required to, ask for reasonable documentation for the need for leave. 

How is FINEOS helping carriers and employers prepare for the changes to the Illinois Child Bereavement Leave Act? 

FINEOS will be ready to administer the changes by the effective date of the amendment. Using modern insurance technology solutions like the FINEOS Platform can help insurance carriers remain agile and competitive when leave legislation passes. Learn more about how a modern, integrated disability and absence management (IDAM) solution can help your organization adapt to sudden changes and remain in compliance. 

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