Illinois Employment Law: What Issues Should Employment Handbooks Discuss? (Part 1)

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There is no one size fits all for employment handbooks but there are a few things that you should be sure your handbook discusses.   Here are a few pointers:

  • Terms of Employment
  • Open Door Policy
  • Drug Free Workplace Policy
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Polic
  • Non-Union Status Statement
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  •  Leave Policies

Sick Leave

Only a handful of states have their own sick/medical leave laws.  Illinois law does not require sick leave benefits, but employers must provide unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Federal laws. If you do give sick leave, qualified dependents’ illnesses should be covered under sick leave. Under the American with Disabilities Act, an employer cannot set a maximum for medical leave, and must consider it on a case-by-case basis. Under the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Pregnancy Accommodations Law, a pregnant woman cannot be fired for asking for “light duty”, additional breaks, or other “reasonable accommodations” at work.  They can be required to provide a doctor’s note.

The Federal Family Mediation Leave Act (“FMLA”) applies to employers with 50 or more employees.  The employer must give employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for birth and care of a child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee, care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition, and care for the employee’s own serious health condition.  Employees must have worked at least 12 months for the employer and have worked at least 1250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the date FMLA leave starts.

Under FMLA, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), require an employer to provide up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin to care for a “member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.

Stay tuned for more! Rincker Law is available to help you with your employment handbook.

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