Heyl Royster

 


Heyl Royster

 

Statute In The Spotlight

6/7/13

In each issue, Heyl Royster attorneys will summarize a statute that imposes requirements on an employer with respect to its employees. These summaries can be printed and compiled in a notebook for easy access and quick answers to your questions.

The Family Military Leave Act – 820 ILCS 151/1 et seq.

Who: An employee working for an employer that employs at least 15 employees.  

What: An employer shall provide unpaid Family Military Leave, which is defined as leave requested by an employee who is a spouse, parent, child or grandparent of a person called to military service lasting longer than 30 days with the State or United States pursuant to the orders of the Governor or the President of the United States, to an employee during the time federal or state deployment orders are in effect.  

An employee who takes Family Military Leave must be restored to the position he or she held before starting leave, or a position with equivalent seniority status, benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.  

An employee on Family Military Leave shall not lose any employee benefit accrued before the date on which the leave commenced.  

While an employee is on Family Military Leave, the employer shall make it possible for the employee to continue their benefits, at the employee's expense.  

Collective bargaining agreements cannot diminish an employee's rights under the Family Military Leave Act; if a collective bargaining agreement or employee benefit plan provides greater leave rights to an employee than the Family Military Leave Act, the Act does not affect an employer's obligation to comply with that which was agreed upon.

How: Employee must provide at least 14 days notice of the intention to take leave, if the leave will consist of 5 or more consecutive work days. An employee taking military family leave for less than 5 consecutive days must provide advance notice as is practicable.

Employer may require certification to verify the employee's eligibility.

Limits: An employee working for an employer that employs between 15 and 50 employees is entitled to up to 15 days of unpaid Family Military Leave during the time federal or state deployment orders are in effect.  

An employee working for an employer that employs more than 50 employees shall provide up to 30 days of unpaid Family Military Leave to an employee during the time federal or state deployment orders are in effect. For employers with more than 50 employees, when an employee seeks leave because the employee's spouse or child is called to military service, the number of days of leave provided to an employee shall be reduced by the number of days of leave provided to the employee under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.  

An employee shall not take Family Military Leave unless he or she has exhausted all agreed vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, or any other leave (except sick leave and disability leave).  

Prohibited Acts: An employer cannot interfere with an employee's rights under the Act.  

An employer cannot discharge or discriminate against an individual because he or she has exercised any right under the Act.

An employer cannot discharge, fine, suspend, expel, discipline or discriminate against any employee for opposing any practice made unlawful by the Act.  

Enforcement: Civil action may be brought by an employee to enforce the Family Medical Leave Act. The court may enjoin an employer from taking any action or practice that violates or may violate the Act.