Illinois Considers Paid Family Leave Insurance Program – Employee Benefits and Compensation


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What do you want to know:

  • The Illinois House recently introduced legislation that would create a statewide paid family leave insurance program.
  • The legislation would provide eligible Illinois employees with up to 12 weeks of leave over a 24-month period, to be used for time off necessary for family and medical reasons, including pregnancy, the medical condition of a employee, to bond with a child, or to care for a family member.
  • The program would be administered by IDES and funded by employee payroll contributions.

As the new year unfolds, the Illinois legislature is considering other ways to provide employees with paid time off. A few days after the adoption of the law on paid holidays for all workers, the Chamber introduced Illinois Bill 1102 – implement a statewide family leave insurance program through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (“IDES”).

Eligible employees could take up to 12 weeks of family leave in a 24-month period for (1) pregnancy; (2) being with a newborn, newly adopted, or newly fostered child; (3) for adoption; (4) to care for a family member with a serious medical condition; (5) for the serious medical condition of an employee; or (6) certain military requirements. Employees could receive 85% of their average salary, up to $881 in weekly earnings. The bill would come into force as soon as it comes into force.

The main provisions of the bill are as follows:

  • Employee eligibility: Illinois workers (other than those working for the state) employed by the same employer for 12 months or more, who worked 1,200 hours or more in the preceding 12-month period would be covered by the protections Bill.
  • Employer coverage: Employers are broadly defined as any partnership, association, trust, estate, corporation, insurance company, or corporation with at least one employee providing services in Illinois, and any employer subject to unemployment insurance law.
  • Length of leave: Up to twelve weeks of family leave in a 24-month period would be granted to eligible employees. Family leave could be taken on an intermittent basis for eligibility requirements, except that leave after birth or adoption should be of continuous duration, unless agreed to by the employer. Family leave would occur concurrently with any FMLA leave. Employers may also require family leave to be taken concurrently with other employer leave policies, upon notification to employees.
  • Note: If an employee’s need for family leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide the employer with at least 30 days notice. If not, notice should be given as soon as possible. Employees would also be responsible for making reasonable efforts to plan for foreseeable processing so as not to unduly disrupt business operations.
  • Benefits of leave: Eligible employees will receive 85% of their average weekly salary, with a maximum of $881 in compensation per week. The Bill incorporates by reference the determination of average weekly earnings from the Unemployment Insurance Act.
  • State Provident Fund: To cover the cost of furlough insurance administered by IDES, employers would be required to withhold a 0.5% wage premium reduction from all employees, to be paid into a newly created social benefit fund. Housed in the Treasury, the Benefits Fund would be used for the payment of leave benefits and for the administration of the law.
  • Collective agreements : If passed, the bill will not affect any existing collective agreements. The bill states that his benefits cannot be reduced by a collective agreement entered into after the effective date of the bill. But, it also stipulates that after the bill comes into force, its requirements could be waived in a collective agreement if done in explicit terms. Hopefully this inconsistency will be resolved through the legislative process before any enactment and that exactly how the law would deal with collective bargaining remains to be seen.
  • Reintegration and anti-retaliation: Employees who receive furlough benefits through the state would have the right to return to the position they occupied before taking the furlough, or to return to an equivalent position with benefits, pay and working conditions. equal employment. The bill prohibits employers from taking adverse action against a person who has filed or expressed an intention to file an application for leave insurance through IDES.
  • Excludes: The family leave provided under the bill excludes any period during which an eligible employee is paid under the Unemployment Insurance Act or the Workers’ Compensation Act.

The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee on January 12, 2023 and we will continue to monitor the evolving political and legal landscape of this legislation.

Amid dynamic paid time off requirements and responsibilities, employers should reach out to their Seyfarth contact for solutions and compliance recommendations. To stay up to date on paid vacation developments, click here to sign up for Seyfarth’s paid vacation mailing list. Companies interested in Seyfarth paid family leave or paid sick leave surveys should contact [email protected]

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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