AUTHORITY: Implementing, and authorized by Section 25 of, the Child Bereavement Leave Act [820 ILCS 154].

SOURCE: Adopted at 45 Ill. Reg. 10067, effective July 20, 2021.


Section 252.5  Definitions


"Act" means the Child Bereavement Leave Act [820 ILCS 154].


"Child" means an employee's son or daughter who is a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.


"Department" means the Illinois Department of Labor.


"Employee" means eligible employee, as defined by FMLA section 101(2).


"Employer" means employer, as defined by FMLA section 101(4) (Section 5 of the Act).


"FMLA" means the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 USC 2601 et seq.).


Section 252.10  Bereavement Leave


a)         All employees shall be entitled to use a maximum of 2 weeks (10 work days) of unpaid bereavement 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.


b)         Bereavement leave under subsection (a) must be completed within 60 days after the date on which the employee receives notice of the death of the child.


c)         An employee shall provide the employer with at least 48 hours' advance notice of the employee's intention to take bereavement leave, unless providing that notice is not reasonable and practicable.


d)         An employer may require reasonable documentation.  Documentation may include a death certificate, a published obituary, or written verification of death, burial, or memorial services from a mortuary, funeral home, burial society, crematorium, religious institution, or government agency.


e)         In the event of the death of more than one child in a 12-month period, an employee is entitled to up to a total of 6 weeks of bereavement leave during the 12-month period. 


f)         The Act does not entitle an employee to take unpaid leave time that exceeds the total unpaid leave time protected under FMLA. [820 ILCS 154/10]


Section 252.15  Existing Leave


An employee who is entitled to take paid or unpaid leave (including family, medical, sick, annual, personal, or similar leave) from employment, pursuant to federal, State, or local law, a collective bargaining agreement, or an employment benefits program or plan may elect to substitute any period of that leave for an equivalent period of leave provided under Section 10 of the Act. [820 ILCS 154/15]


Section 252.20  Unlawful Employer Practices


a)         It is unlawful for any employer to take any adverse action against an employee because the employee:


1)         exercises rights or attempts to exercise rights under the Act;


2)         opposes practices that the employee believes to be in violation of the Act; or


3)         supports the exercise of rights of another under the Act.


b)         Exercising rights under the Act includes:


1)         filing an action or instituting or causing to be instituted any proceeding under, or related to, the Act;


2)         providing or agreeing to provide any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under the Act; or


3)         testifying, or agreeing to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under the Act. [820 ILCS 154/20]


Section 252.25  Department Responsibilities


a)         The Department will administer and enforce the Act. The Department shall have the powers and the parties shall have the rights, provided in Article 10 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act [5 ILCS 100/Art.10] for contested cases. The Department has the power to conduct investigations in connection with the administration and enforcement of the Act, including the power to conduct depositions and discovery and to issue subpoenas. If the Department finds cause to believe that the Act has been violated, the Department shall notify the parties in writing and the matter shall be referred to an Administrative Law Judge to schedule a formal hearing in accordance with 56 Ill. Adm. Code 120 (Rules of Procedure in Administrative Hearings).


b)         The Department is authorized to impose civil penalties prescribed in Section 30 of the Act in administrative proceedings that comply with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and to supervise the payment of the unpaid wages and damages owing to the employee or employees under the Act.


c)         The Department may bring any legal action necessary to recover the amount of unpaid wages, damages, and penalties, and the employer shall be required to pay the costs. Any sums recovered by the Department on behalf of an employee under the Act shall be paid to the employee or employees affected. However, no more than 20% of any penalty collected from the employer for a violation of the Act shall be deposited into the Child Bereavement Fund, a special fund created in the State treasury, and used for the enforcement of the Act.


d)         The Attorney General may bring an action to enforce the collection of any civil penalty imposed under the Act. [5 ILCS 100/25]


Section 252.30  Enforcement


a)         An employee who believes his or her rights under the Act or this Part have been violated may, within 60 days after the date of the last event constituting the alleged violation for which the action is brought, file a complaint with the Department or file a civil action.


b)         Penalties


1)         An employer found to have violated any provision of the Act or this Part is subject to a civil penalty for each employee affected, as follows:


A)        First offense, a civil penalty of $500;


B)        Second or subsequent offense, a civil penalty of $1,000. [820 ILCS 154/30]


2)         For purposes of this subsection (b), an offense means each instance that an employer is found to have denied an employee bereavement leave, as provided for by 820 ILCS 154/10, or to have engaged in unlawful practices prohibited by 820 ILCS 154/20.


c)         If the Department assesses a penalty in accordance with subsection (b), the Department shall serve the employer and employee, via certified mail, electronic mail if a party has consented, or any other verifiable means such as private carrier, with a Notice of Penalty containing the grounds for the decision and the penalty amount.


Section 252.35 Initiation of Hearing


a)         The Department shall serve its decision on the parties via certified U.S. mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known addresses of the parties.  A party may request a hearing within ten days after the date of service via certified mail or personal delivery to the Department.


b)         Hearings shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of Article 10 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act [5 ILCS 100/Art. 10] and the Department's Rules of Procedure in Administrative Hearings (56 Ill. Adm. Code 120).