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(Even More) New Illinois Employment Laws

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2022 | Firm News

By: Brian LaFratta

Over the past few years, Illinois employers have become accustomed to frequent changes in the law. This article summarizes two new employment laws that employers need to be aware of.

First, Illinois has enacted the “CROWN (“Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair”) Act”, which went into effect June 29, 2022. This new law amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on hair texture and hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists. Accordingly, employers are prohibited from taking an adverse employment action (such as termination, refusal to hire, refusal to promote, etc.) against an employee because of such hair-related traits.

Second, Illinois has enacted the “Family Bereavement Leave Act.” The new law goes into effect January 1, 2023, and requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to 2 weeks/10 days of unpaid bereavement leave. The leave can be used to (a) attend a funeral of a covered family member, (b) make arrangements necessitated by the death of a covered family member, (c) grieve the death of a covered family member, or (d) be absence from work due to (i) a miscarriage, (ii) an unsuccessful round of artificial insemination, (iii) a failed or delayed adoption, (iv) a failed surrogacy agreement, (v) a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility, or (vi) a stillbirth.

An employee is eligible for leave under this new law if they meet the same eligibility requirements for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (the FMLA). Accordingly, to be eligible, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, have at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave, and worked at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

The Act defines a covered family member as “an employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.” In the event of the death of more than one covered family member in a 12-month period, the maximum amount of leave available is 6 weeks.

If you have any concerns about these new laws or any other questions about Illinois employment law, please feel free to contact Brian LaFratta at 630-221-1755 or [email protected].