CHICAGO, Ill. (WMBD) – The Family Bereavement Act, signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker Thursday, expands leave time requirements to cover pregnancy loss, failed adoptions, and unsuccessful reproductive procedures, and other diagnoses or events impacting pregnancy and fertility.
“Illinoisans should have time to mourn and heal after an unimaginable loss like a miscarriage or stillbirth,” said Pritzker.
The new law gives more time to families in the scenarios stated above since the original Act gave two weeks of paid time off.
Bereavement leave now covers an expanded definition of “covered family members.” This includes children, stepchildren, spouses, domestic partners, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandchildren, grandparents, or stepparents.
The state must offer ten days of paid leave for any arrangements, preparations, and services following the death of a covered family member.
The act also allows employees not to disclose what kind of leave they are seeking, even if they are required to provide documentation. The Department of Labor will provide forms for health care practitioners to verify the leave-inciting event without violating patient privacy.
The bill was inspired Kyra Jagodzinski, a 16-year-old volunteer for State Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).
“Over my life, I watched as my parents struggled with the loss of family, and saw people close to me struggle with fertility challenges and pregnancy loss,” Jagodzinski said in a statement. “As a 17-year-old, I did my best to comfort them, but found a system that left them without support. The Act provides Illinois residents with time to grieve the loss of immediate family members and to-be family members.”