Paid Sick Leave Update
There are several new state, municipal and county paid sick leave laws in Illinois that will affect employers’ Paid Time Off policies and benefits. Some or all may apply to your business depending on where you do business or where you have employees working. The following is a brief description of the main points of each new law.
Illinois HB 6162 Employee Sick Leave Act:
Took effect January 1, 2017.
- The Act does not specifically define Employer, so it is assumed that this Act applies to all Illinois Employers.
- Employees may use their personal sick leave time for absences related to the illness, injury or medical appointments for “immediate family” (child, stepchild, spouse, sibling, parent and spouse’s parents, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent).
- The time to be used is the employee’s personal sick leave benefits, not plan benefits, such as short- or long-term disability benefits.
- The amount of time to be allowed for immediate family versus personal sick time is not defined, but should be “for reasonable periods of time”.
A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO BIRTH CONTROL VS. RELIGIOUS RIGHTS
On June 30th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of three family-owned businesses, with the majority of the court saying that businesses can refuse to pay for certain forms of contraception they find “morally repugnant.” At issue are four contraceptives known as abortifacients which are contraceptives that prevent ovum implantation or cause a miscarriage shortly after becoming pregnant.
In writing the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito noted that the Obama White House already provided an opt-out for nonprofit religious corporations by allowing an outside insurance company to pay for birth control and felt this should also apply to for-profit employers. It was suggested by the court that the Government could assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives at issue to women who are unable to obtain them under their health-insurance policies due to their employers’ religious objections.
FMLA Benefits Now Must Be Provided to Employees with Same-Sex Spouses
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) in U.S. v. Windsor, we advised that there would be sweeping implications to employers from everything from benefits enrollment to FMLA entitlements. (See DOMA posts from June 26th, June 28th — Immigration Issues and June 28th — Employee Benefits Issues).