Illinois Expands Bereavement Leave with FBLA

Beth Dean 01.26.23
Nextep blog - FBLA

Starting in 2023, Illinois workers have expanded job-protected bereavement leave under the Family Bereavement Leave Act (FBLA). Let’s dig into the details.

FBLA allows eligible employees to take up to 10 work days of unpaid leave following the death of a family member. Specifically, they are allowed time for any of the events covered by the FBLA to grieve, attend a funeral, or make arrangements necessitated by the death of the family member

The law applies to employers with at least 50 employees. Employees must have been employed with the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months to qualify for the leave.

Qualifying FBLA events include:

  • death of a covered family member
  • stillbirth
  • miscarriage
  • unsuccessful reproductive procedure
  • failed adoption match or unfinalized/contested adoption 
  • failed surrogacy agreement
  • diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility

FBLA defines a covered family member as a spouse, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of the employee.

Employees are required to provide their employer with written notice of their intention to take bereavement leave and to provide reasonable documentation, such as a death certificate or documents from the adoption agency, that verifies the need for time off. However, employees are not required to identify the specific event for the leave.

The law also allows employers to require employees to use any accumulated vacation, personal, or sick leave concurrently with the first ten days of the bereavement leave period, if available. Employers are also allowed to deny the leave if it would cause an undue hardship on the employer.

FLBA expands on and replaces Child Bereavement Leave Act (CBLA). It widens the parameters of bereavement leave to include more family members. To learn more about FBLA, visit the Illinois Department of Labor.

This law is a critical step in supporting employees dealing with a family member’s loss. It allows them to take time off to grieve and make arrangements without worrying about losing their job. It allows employees the time and space to grieve, attend the funeral or other recognition of the deceased person, and make necessary arrangements.


Did you know Illinois has another compliance update for January 2023? We’ve got you covered! Check out our post on the One Day Rest In Seven Act (ODRISA).

Read up oN ODRISA

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