Representative Peter Breen Leads House Effort to Clarify Illinois’ Employee Sick Leave Act

Through unanimous votes in the House and Senate today, lawmakers approved a bill that clarifies elements of the Employee Sick Leave Act which was approved and signed into law earlier this year.

Chief House Sponsor Peter Breen (R-Lombard) said the bill helps ensure that the original intent of the Employee Sick Leave Act is followed. “This bill includes clean-up language that will allow the Employee Sick Act to reach its intended scope and be completely effective,” said Breen. “Specifically, the language makes it clear that both paid and unpaid leave are covered through the Act and adds stepchildren as qualifying family members. It also helps prevent potential law suits by exempting employees under the Railway Labor Act, collective bargaining agreements, and other entities, so the bill is in full compliance with state and federal laws.”

The original Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act, signed into law as Public Act 99-0841, required Illinois employers who provide personal sick leave benefits to their employees to allow them to take such leave for absences due to the illness, injury or medical needs of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother or father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent. Through the Act, leave must be granted on terms identical to those employees could utilize for his or her own illness or injury.

The cleanup bill, SB 2799, now awaits the signature of the Governor.