New state law allows for employee bereavement leave after child’s death

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Gov. Bruce Rauner last week signed Senate Bill 2613, which provides that employees are entitled to up to 10 workdays of unpaid bereavement leave following the death of a child.

Among advocates for the bill was Jim Dixon of Springfield. He and his wife, Linda, lost a son, Todd, in a one-car accident 25 years ago, and they lead a group call Bereaved Parents of Springfield.

The bill applies to private-sector businesses that employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 work weeks in a year.

The Act expands FMLA coverage by ensuring that employees who lose a child will be provided with two weeks of unpaid bereavement leave to make arrangements, attend the funeral, and grieve.

Senator Jim Oberweis (R-St. Charles) was one of only two members of the Illinois Senate to vote against the legislation. He was joined by Senator McCarter (R-Lebanon).