Another new Illinois employment law that expands employee rights, the “Employee Sick Leave Act,” requires Illinois employers who provide employees with paid sick leave to allow their employees to use that time to care for the employees’ immediate family members, parents-in-law, grandchildren or grandparents. The employer must allow the employee to use the paid sick time for family care giving just as he or she would be allowed to use the time for his or her own injury or illness, except that the employer may cap the time used for care giving in the amount that the employee would have accrued at 6 months. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act already requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks’ unpaid leave to care for family members.

Illinois employers should review and update their employee handbooks and personnel policies to comply with this and several other new federal, state and city employment laws.