ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday signed legislation that requires employers to give extended unpaid leave to parents who lose a child to suicide or homicide.
SB2034, known as Zachary’s Parent Protection Act, large employers are required to provide 12 weeks of bereavement time off, while smaller employers are required to offer 6 weeks.
Currently, employers are only required to offer 2 weeks of unpaid bereavement after the loss of a child.
“The loss of a child is an unimaginable tragedy. Amid the pain and suffering that follows, no parent should be forced to choose between their grief and their employment,” said State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford), chief sponsor of Zachary’s Parent Protection Act. “Parents who lose a child to suicide or homicide deserve a respect and patience from their employers as they cope with their trauma and grief.”
The bill previously passed the House by a vote of 81 to 24 and the Senate by 42 to 10.