An Illinois law that allowed for time away from work after the death of a living child has now been changed to include miscarriage and failed adoption. Workers who experience the loss of a pregnancy, a failed adoption, unsuccessful reproductive procedures such as IVF, or other diagnoses that are related to fertility and pregnancy must be given two weeks of unpaid leave, if they request it.
The new law is called the Family Bereavement Leave Act, and it applies to any company that has at least 50 employees. The law will go into effect in January 2023, and is an amendment to the current Child Bereavement Leave Act. The current law only allowed leave for the death of a biological child or stepchild, foster placement, or adopted child.
Federal law doesn’t require giving any leave for bereavement. While bills have been introduced to change that, they haven’t been successful. The new Illinois law will close a gap in protection for those who are dealing with bereavement that’s related to fertility and pregnancy, but that doesn’t entail the loss of a living child.
Allowing workers the opportunity to grieve, and to have some time off to do so, can help those who have suffered a loss process it. Additionally, the loss of a pregnancy or unsuccessful fertility treatments can be a very difficult time in a person’s life, as can a non-finalized adoption. The Illinois governor’s office released a statement that addressed the value of the new law.
The statement said, in part, that being pro-family means making sure that women are supported through their fertility journeys, and that includes when they experience a loss. Illinois Sen. Melinda Bush (D) introduced the proposal on January 11, and it passed the Senate in February. On March 30, the House passed the bill, as well.
The Surrogacy Law Center works with all individuals and couples, helping protect their legal rights as they navigate the world of surrogacy and assisted reproductive methods. Contact us today to learn more!