New Family Bereavement Leave Act Provides for Expanded Leave for Illinois Employees


On June 9, 2022, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed the Family Bereavement Leave Act (“the FBLA”) into law, which is an amendment to the Illinois Child Bereavement Leave Act. The Child Bereavement Leave Act was adopted in 2016 and required Illinois employers to grant employees 10 workdays of unpaid leave annually to grieve the death of a biological or adopted child, a foster placement or a stepchild.

The FBLA expands the eligibility for 10 days of unpaid leave for the loss of additional family members and due to issues related to pregnancy loss, failed adoptions, unsuccessful reproductive procedures, and other diagnoses or events impacting pregnancy and fertility. This legislation follows a wave of similar laws being passed in states across the country, including New York, Utah and Kentucky. Much like the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the new law requires Illinois employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 10 days of unpaid leave to employees who are absent from work due to: 

  • A miscarriage;
  • An unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure (e.g. In Vitro Fertilization)
  • A failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party;
  • A failed surrogacy agreement;
  • A diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility; or
  • A stillbirth.

The FBLA also requires employers to provide 10 days of unpaid leave to employees attending the funeral of a covered family member, making arrangements necessitated by the death of a covered family member, or grieving the death of a covered family member. The FBLA expands the definition of a covered family member to include children, stepchildren, spouses, domestic partners, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandchildren, grandparents, or stepparents.

Similar to FMLA, to be eligible for the leave, employees must have completed at least 12 months of employment and at least 1,250 hours worked within the previous 12-month period. The leave must take place within 60 days of the qualifying condition. The FBLA permits employers to request reasonable documentation to substantiate the leave. However, employers are prohibited from requiring that the employee identify which category the leave falls under. Therefore, it is expected that health care providers will provide letters that simply state that the employee has a qualifying reason for leave under the FBLA. A form will be provided by the Department of Labor for this purpose. If an employee has already exceeded the leave allowed under FMLA, the FBLA does not create a right to additional leave. The entire text of the FBLA can be found here.

The FBLA goes into effect on January 1, 2023. Therefore, covered Illinois employers should begin reviewing and updating their policies to ensure compliance with the FBLA. For additional information, please contact Burke Warren partners Rachel Bossard at 312-840-7029 / or Blake Roter at 312-840-7116 /

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