The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally requires private employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons. Those reasons include the birth and care of a newborn child or placement of an adopted or foster child with an employee, as well as leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or when an employee is unable to work because of the employee’s own serious health condition (including incapacity due to pregnancy).
Employees are eligible for federal FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Employers subject to FMLA are required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave on the same terms as if the employee continued to work. Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee generally must be restored to the employee’s original position or an equivalent position identical to the original in terms of pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions.
Many states also have laws requiring that employers grant certain employees leave from work due to specified family, medical, or other circumstances.
Illinois currently has no comprehensive family and medical leave law requiring private employers to provide leave rights greater than those required by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Illinois law provides for family military leave for eligible employees who are the spouses, parents, children, or grandparents of a person called to military service lasting longer than 30 days. Under the Illinois Family Military Leave Act:
An eligible employee, including an independent contractor, is an employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 12 months, and has been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.
An employee is not permitted to take family military leave unless he or she has exhausted all accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, and any other leave that may be granted to the employee, except sick leave and disability leave. The employer may require certification from the proper military authority to verify the employee's eligibility for the family military leave requested.
The number of days of family military leave provided to an employee under the law is reduced by the number of days of leave provided to the employee under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse or child is on covered active duty as defined in that Act (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.
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