On January 1, 2017, the Illinois Sick Leave Act (the “Act”) became effective. The Act provides employees with the right to use paid time-off from work to care for a sick family member (the ‘personal sick leave benefit’). For example, the Act provides that an employee may use their personal sick leave benefit for:

  1. absences from work due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s sick family member (where the ‘sick family member’ is defined as, a child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent);
  2. for reasonable periods of time as the employee’s attendance to the sick family member may be necessary;
  3. on the same terms upon which the employee is able to use sick leave benefits for the employee’s own illness or injury.

The Act provide Illinois employers with the right to limit their employee‘s use of their personal sick leave benefits for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s sick family member up to an amount that is not less than the personal sick leave that would be accrued by the employee during a 6 month period, at the employee’s then current rate of entitlement. The Act provides that an employer who has a paid time off policy that would otherwise provide benefits which satisfy the requirements as described above, shall not be required to modify such policy.

The attorneys at Russel G. Winick and Associates, P.C. are ready to assist you in addressing this important subject. Our attorneys can advise you on the Act, they can assist you with drafting a sick leave policy for your employees, and they can review your company policy regarding personal sick leave benefit for compliance with the Act. Please feel free to call us to set up a consultation.