On July 29, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Child Bereavement Leave Act into law, requiring Illinois employers with at least 50 employees to provide employees with two weeks (10 work days) of unpaid leave upon the loss of a child. The Act broadly defines “child” to include an employee’s son or daughter who is a biological, adopted, or foster child; a stepchild; a legal ward; or child of a person standing in loco parentis. Employees may use such leave to: (1) attend the funeral or alternative to a funeral of a child; (2) make arrangements necessitated by the death of the child; or (3) grieve the death of the child. Should an employee suffer the loss of more than one child in a 12-month period, the employer must provide up to six weeks of bereavement leave. An employee has the option to substitute paid leave for bereavement leave, but the employer may not require employees to do so.

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