Effective July 29, 2016, the Illinois Child Bereavement Leave Act (the “Act”) requires Illinois employers who are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide employees with up to 10 working days of unpaid leave of absence in the event of the death of an employee’s child. Employees may substitute accrued paid leave for the unpaid bereavement leave. The Act also contains an anti-retaliation provision, which makes it unlawful for an employer to take adverse employment action against an employee who exercised his or her rights under the Act. Claims for violation of the Act may be filed with the Illinois Department of Labor or in court.

It is important for Illinois employers to become familiar with the new Illinois leave law and a whole host of other new federal, state and city employment laws, which expand the rights of employees in the workplace, and create new minefields for employers. Employee handbooks should be updated and kept in compliance with law.