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Under new law, parents now get time off work after losing a child


SPRINGFIELD — Legislation that would guarantee parents time off work to mourn the loss of a child is now law.

Illinois has taken “an important step forward in helping parents who go through the unimaginable tragedy of losing a child,” sponsoring Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield, said. “The last thing any parent who loses a child needs to worry about is getting approved for time off work to grieve and plan a funeral.”

Prior to the law, a parent whose child had a serious medical condition could receive time off from work under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. However, that same parent would not be allowed under FMLA to take time off for the death of a child.

Bertino-Tarrant’s initiative, Senate Bill 2613, expands FMLA coverage by ensuring that employees who lose a child will be provided with two weeks of unpaid bereavement leave. This time can be used to make arrangements, attend the funeral and grieve their child’s death.

Illinois now joins Oregon as the only states to mandate that employers provide leave to employees who request it after the death of a child.

FMLA applies to all state, local and federal employers as well as schools and private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in a year.

Senate Bill 2613 is now in effect.

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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