The Illinois Legislature recently passed the Employee Sick Leave Act, P.A. 099-0841, which requires employers to allow employees to use a limited amount of accrued sick time to care for a family member. Effective January 1, 2017, employers who offer their employees sick leave benefits (time accrued and available to the employees to be used when sick and absent from work due to illness), must allow their employees to use that sick time to care for a family member. Employees may use sick leave under this Act for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of or for the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent since the employee’s attendance may be necessary. Such sick leave can be used in the same way the employee can use his or her own sick leave for his or her own illness. Employers can limit the amount of the employees’ use of this time to an amount not less than an amount equal to six months of sick leave accrual. The rights provided for in this law are in addition to any benefits already provided for in any contract or other law. Employers are not prevented from providing greater benefits. This law does not extend the amount of leave guaranteed under the Family Medical Leave Act, which provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually to care for a family member.
This law further protects employees from being retaliated against for asserting the rights established by this Act. The Illinois Department of Labor is the agency responsible for compliance.