Senate approves Feigenholtz plan for parental leave expansion

SPRINGFIELD –A measure that would give flexibility to how paid sick leave is used after fostering, adopting, or giving birth to a child received Senate approval Wednesday.

“Illinois families today function in different ways than when these laws were originally written, and as a result, many are no longer able to use their earned parental leave,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “The idea of ‘mom stays home with the kids while dad goes to work’ can no longer be applied across the board to all families. Our modern world looks quite different. Today we passed legislation that reflects the reality of today’s modern families, which includes working mothers, stay at home dads, LGBTQ+ couples, and single parents.”

House Bill 816 redefines how teachers and other school employees outside of Chicago are able to use 30 working days of paid sick leave after the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child at any time within the year after the child joins the family. The days do not have to be used consecutively and are not required to be taken immediately after bringing the child into the home.

“All new parents have unique circumstances, and they deserve the flexibility to use the time they’ve earned in the way that best fits their circumstances,” Feigenholtz said.

The legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support. It was amended in the Senate, so it must return to the House of Representatives for concurrence.