A new Illinois statute modestly expands workers’ rights to use sick leave. The new law, Public Act 99-0841, requires employers to allow their employees to use sick leave for certain family members under the same conditions that the employee would be able to use sick leave benefits for their own illness or injury. It legally extends this benefit to the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, and stepparent.
An employee’s right to use sick leave for family illness or injury was previously generally defined by their employer’s policy, or their collective bargaining agreement in a union represented bargaining unit. Now, Illinois law requires employers to allow employees to use their accrued sick leave for certain family members under the same conditions they can use it for themselves.
However, the Act’s improvements are marginal. Nothing in the statute requires employers to provide sick leave at all, let alone paid sick leave, though employees who receive paid sick leave would be allowed to use it. It still allows employers to decide whether to have sick leave, beyond what is already otherwise required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), a federal law requiring employers over a certain size to allow employees to have up to twelve weeks of unpaid time off per calendar year for illness or injury limiting a major life function for themselves and certain family members, provided the employee meets other conditions. It also limits the employee’s right to use their sick leave to “reasonable periods of time as the employee’s attendance may be necessary,” which will be interpreted differently by employers than it will be by employees.
Further, though the Act references allowing employees to use sick leave for medical appointments for family members, its proviso that limits its requirements to “the same terms upon which the employee is able to use sick leave benefits for the employee’s own illness or injury” allows employers to circumscribe even that. Some employers do not allow their employees to use sick leave for medical appointments, absent illness or injury. This can exempt annual physicals, school physicals, medical check-ups and dental cleanings, among other things.
The Act also limits employers’ obligations to provide accrued time to “an amount not less than the personal sick leave that would be accrued during 6 months at the employee’s then current rate of entitlement.” An employer providing five days per year of sick leave would be obligated to allow employees to use just two and one half days per year of that for family assistance. The Act also states that it does not extend the length of leave time beyond what is provided by the FMLA.
It is not likely that meaningful pro-employee legislation will come out of Springfield anytime in the near future, given the tone there. It is not improbable that at least some employers will use this Act to limit, rather than enhance, their employees’ sick leave use. In the collective bargaining context, employer proposals as well as policies incorporating or referencing this Act should be closely evaluated.
Thursday, February 2, 2017- 9am-4:30pm
LOCATION: Sycamore Police Department
535 Dekalb Ave
Sycamore, IL 60178
Class size is limited to the first 30 participants. Please register with Yuliana Amigon at (708) 784-1010 or email: email@example.com Lunch will be provided.
9- 10:45am (Dave Nixon and Jerry Lieb) Fraternal vs Labor (New Steward Training)
Members will learn the distinction between IL FOP State Lodge vs IL FOP Labor Council and the importance of each. Instruction will cover the following topics: running meetings, developing by-laws, grievance preparation, and duties for representing your membership. (We recommend you encourage your membership to join FOP Legal Defense)
11- 11:30am (Dean Hill and Michael Baker) Firearm Liability Coverage through Shield-U
Dean and Mike will give an update on the importance and benefits of a new product that they have developed which has been granted approval from the Illinois Department of Insurance. They will instruct stewards on how this policy can assist members who have the misfortune of being involved in a shooting.
11:30am-12:30pm Lunch provided on-site
12:30- 2:15pm (Mike Powell and Gary Bailey) Collective Bargaining
Attendees will receive instruction on preparation for negotiations/ reaching tentative agreement or impasse/ mediation and arbitration.
2:15- 2:30pm Break
2:30-4:30pm (Dan Bailey and Tamara Cummings) Handling a Critical Incident
Members will learn their role in handling a critical incident, and what they should do to protect the rights of their coworkers. IL FOP LC Critical Incident Hotline 1-(877) IFOP-911
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council is a Law Enforcement Union representing some 10,000 plus professionals who work in the Criminal Justice Arena and are granted their collective bargaining rights under the Illinois Labor Relations Act. Our members are Municipal Police Officers, County Sheriff’s Deputies, Police Officers who work for Elected Constitutional Officers, University Police Officers, County Correctional Officers, Court Security Officers, Probation Officers, 911 Telecommunicators, Records Personnel and some related Support Staff.
Outside the City of Chicago the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council represents more law enforcement professionals than any other union in Illinois with over 490 bargaining units. Our largest units boast membership numbers in the hundreds, while some of our smallest units consist of only four to five members. We have a presence in some of the most remote parts of the State, such as the Cities of Beardstown and Metropolis and the Counties of Washington and Union, as well as some of the densest regions, such as the Chicagoland Area and Cook County.
Experienced Labor Professionals
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council prides itself in representing its membership in the specialized field of public sector/public safety labor representation. With a full time staff of 13 attorneys and 13 field representatives, all responsible for negotiating contracts and representing membership, the FOP Labor Council has 208 years of combined Law Enforcement experience and 475 years of labor experience, collectively.
With offices in Western Springs (north) and Springfield (south), the FOP Labor Council is the only union who can meet the demands of law enforcement professionals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with 10 administrative staff members and a 24 hour emergency hotline.
A Long and Strong Tradition
The Illinois FOP Labor Council was originally framed as a “Labor Committee” of the Illinois FOP State Lodge back in 1983 in anticipation of police officers gaining the right to collectively bargain. In 1984 collective begging became collective bargaining with the inclusion of police officers and firefighters under the Illinois Labor Relations Act.
With the onslaught of police officers seeking rights under collective bargaining the Labor Committee quickly evolved into an independent entity known today as the FOP Labor Council. Several active law enforcement officers from across the state left the security of their employment to help form the Labor Council. Their dedication and commitment established the backbone of the Labor Council which today employs labor experts with experience from across a broad range of the labor relations spectrum.