State Expands Qualifying Losses Under Bereavement Leave Law

On June 9, 2022, Gov. Pritzker signed the Illinois Family Bereavement Leave Act (FBLA) into law, expanding unpaid bereavement leave for Illinois employees to cover additional family member losses, pregnancy losses and failed adoptions. The FBLA amends the existing Child Bereavement Leave Act, which requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide up to 10 days of unpaid leave to parents and guardians after the loss of a child. Specifically, the FBLA expands the scope of family member losses covered by FBLA, requiring employers to provide leave to employees grieving the death of a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent. Covered losses will further include failed surrogacy agreements, unsuccessful reproductive procedures and other diagnoses or events impacting pregnancy and fertility.

Employee eligibility requirements for unpaid bereavement leave under Illinois’s FBLA mirror federal FMLA eligibility requirements. The law permits – but does not require – employers to require reasonable documentation of qualifying loss. For the loss of a family member, that may include a death certificate or published obituary. However, as to pregnancy, fertility, surrogacy and adoption losses, employers are prohibited from requiring the employee to identify the particular qualifying leave event. For these events, if the employer chooses to require documentation, the Illinois Department of Labor will provide a suitable form to be completed by an appropriate healthcare practitioner.

The FBLA becomes effective January 1, 2023. Illinois employers should review their bereavement leave policies with legal counsel and amend as appropriate to ensure compliance.

Press Release - Family Bereavement Leave Act »
SB3120 »