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August 24, 2005
State Allows Leave for When Family Member Called to Military Service

Illinois has passed legislation entitling employees to unpaid leave when their spouse or child is called to military service lasting longer than 30 days.

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The law, called the Family Military Leave Act, calls for any employer that employs between 15 and 50 employees to offer up to 15 days of unpaid family military leave to an employee during the time federal or state deployment orders are in effect. The act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 30 days of unpaid family military leave.

The law covers employees with at least a year on the job and at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave.

The law requires that before employees take family military leave, they must exhaust all accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, and any other leave that may be granted to the employee--except sick leave and disability leave.

The employee must also give at least 14 days notice if the leave will last 5 or more consecutive work days.

The employer must restore the employee exercising the right to family military to the position held when the leave started or to a position with equivalent seniority status, employee benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

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