- Illinois became the second state to mandate bereavement leave of private employers. The law builds on federal FMLA and "does not increase an employee's FMLA allotment," hr.blr.com reported.
- The law specifically allows leave for the death of a child, and essentially allows a child's death to be a reason an employee can use FMLA. Employees may use the time to set up funeral arrangements, attend the funeral and grieve.
- The law does not include an age limit of the child, and includes biological, adopted and foster children as well as step-children and legal wards.
Oregon was the first state to implement such a law, and includes more broad protections surrounding family bereavement. Leave is not limited to children, but any family member listed under law, including parents, grandparents, grandchildren and parents-in-law. As it is granted under FMLA law, it is not required to be paid and documentation can be required.
More employers are paying attention to employee issues that could cause productivity drain and are exhibiting increased interest in providing paid leave when needed to offset potential losses down the line. The federal government has begun to shine more light on the issue of family leave in particular. The DOL has started pushing grant money toward states to implement full-bodied paid leave plans to protect employees who require parental leave and leave to take care of sick relatives.
Movement in the private space is often quicker, and many employers have already opted for their own paid parental leave programs.