Illinois Department of Labor Publishes Family Bereavement Leave Act Documentation Form
Mar 8, 2023
As more fully explained in our January 11, 2023 law alert, the Illinois Family Bereavement Law Act (FBLA), which went into effect on January 1, 2023, provides employees of both public and private employers with more than 50 employees a maximum of two weeks, or 10 workdays, of unpaid bereavement leave to grieve the death of a covered family member and to be absent from work due to a variety of family-related events, including miscarriage, unsuccessful intrauterine insemination, failed adoption or surrogacy, diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility and stillbirth. Under the FBLA, employers may, but are not required, to request reasonable documentation certifying a qualifying event. Recently, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) published its promised FBLA Leave Documentation form that employers may elect to use.
The first section of the Leave Documentation form is to be completed by employees, indicating whether the certification is for themselves or their spouse, domestic partner, or surrogate. The second section of the form is to be completed by a healthcare practitioner or a representative from an adoption or surrogacy organization certifying not the qualifying event itself, but that they either treated or worked with the individual who experienced a qualifying event and the date when the qualifying event began.
Employers should aim to be as consistent as possible with all employees when requiring leave-related certification to avoid claims of different treatment. Adopting the IDOL form is advisable as it deemed compliant by the agency tasked with enforcement of the Act. Alternatively, employers may adopt their own similar certification forms or merely require direct documentation of the qualifying event such as copies of death certificates, published obituaries or healthcare records. If you have any questions regarding the FBLA or its Leave Documentation form, please contact your Robbins Schwartz attorney.