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Illinois FMLA

State Employers:

Employee Eligibility

All employees who have worked for the state for at least 12 months qualify for family and medical leave under the same conditions as the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

Note: The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act may affect leave taken under Illinois law for those in civil unions; please consult an employment attorney for more information.

Types of Leave:

  • Parental and Family Leave: State employees may request child care leave for the adoption of a child or for parental reasons such as caring for a seriously ill or emotionally disturbed child, or "similar serious family dilemmas".
    • Adoptions: employees are eligible for two weeks (10 work days) of paid adoption leave after the employee has obtained physical custody of the child. Maternity, paternity and adoption leaves are limited to one leave per family, per year.
  • Maternity Leave: Female state employees that pre-certify their pregnancies within the first 20 weeks will be eligible for four week (20 work days) of paid maternity leave, while employees that pre-certify a spouse's pregnancy are entitled to three weeks (15 work days) of paid leave.
    • Three weeks of paid leave is also available for adoptions.
    • Maternity, paternity and adoption leave is limited to one leave per family, per year, for families that have more that one member employed by the state.
  • Family Responsibility Leave: One year of leave may be allotted for a "duty or obligation perceived by the employee to provide care, full-time supervision, custody or non-professional treatment for a member of the employee's immediate family or household.
    • This leave may be used for:
      • Providing nursing or custodial care for a newborn infant.
      • Caring for a temporarily disabled, incapacitated or bedridden resident of the employee's household.
      • Settling the estate of a deceased member of the employee's family.
      • Other specified purposes.
    • The state will pay its share of employee and dependent health and dental insurance premiums for up to six months.
    • State employees may also use this leave in the event of serious illness, disability or injury to the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family.
  • Organ Donation: Employees employed by a state agency for at least six months may take paid leave to donate an organ, bone marrow, blood or blood platelets. They may use (according to the Organ Donor Leave Act):
    • 30 days of organ donation leave in any 12-month period to serve as a bone marrow or organ donor.
    • One hour to donate blood every 56 days.
    • Two hours to donate blood platelets.

All leave periods may be extended from one to 90 calendar days without pay and without deduction of continuous service. Employees may also request an additional 90 days of leave from the director of personnel, however an additional 90 days will be deducted from the employee's continuous service.

All Employers:

School Visits

All Illinois employers with 50 or more employees must allow employees who have been employed for at least six consecutive months up to eight hours of leave to visit their children's schools during the school year.

  • Employees may not take more than four hours of school visitation leave in one day.
  • Leave may not be taken if the employee has not exhausted all accrued vacation leave, personal leave or any other type of leave excluding sick or disability leave.

Blood Donation

Full-time employees who have worked for a local government agency or a private employer with 51 or more employees for six months or more may take one hour of paid leave to donate blood, according to the Employee Blood Donation Leave Act.

Family Military Leave

Employees who have been employed at least one year and have worked at least 1,250 hours may take unpaid leave when their spouse, child, parent or grandparent is called to military service lasting longer than 30 days.

The amount of leave varies with the size of the company:

  • 15 to 50 employees – 15 days of leave.
  • 50+ employees – 30 days of leave, but that amount can be reduced by the number of leave days provided to an employee for a "qualifying exigency" under the federal FMLA.

Employees must first exhaust all accrued vacation, personal and compensatory days (anything but sick and disability leave) before they can use Family Military leave. Employees must also inform their employer 14 days in advance of their leave if they plan on missing five or more consecutive work days.

Domestic Violence

According to the Illinois Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA), all employers with more than 15 employees must provide any employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence (or who has a family member who is victim of either) at least eight weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to address issues arising from such violence, while employers with more than 50 employees must provide at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Employees may take VESSA leave in a single period, intermittently or on a reduced work schedule, either for themselves or for a "family or household member" (anyone related by blood or law) to:

  • Seek medical attention for or to recover from physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic or sexual violence.
  • Obtain victim services, psychological counseling or other counseling.
  • Participate in safety planning, including temporary or permanent relocation or other actions, to increase the safety of the victim from future domestic or sexual violence.
  • Seek legal assistance to ensure the health and safety of the victim, which may involve participation in court proceedings related to the violence.

Employers may not require employees to substitute other paid and unpaid leave for leave they take under VESSA, and are not allowed to fire, harass or discriminate against employees who take leave under VESSA. Employers violating VESSA in any way may be required to:

  • Pay damages equal to the amount of lost wages or other forms of compensation plus interest.
  • Provide equitable relief including reinstatement, promotion and reasonable accommodations.
  • Pay attorney's fees and other costs.
Laws in Illinois for FMLA

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