Illinois State FMLA Laws

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take time off to care for their medical needs or to take care of family members with medical problems. Each state may make its own law regarding FMLA, as long as the worker's right to FMLA is not denied altogether. In states such as Illinois, where there is no separate law, employers must observe federal regulations.

No Separate Act

Illinois does not have its own family medical leave act. Therefore, Illinois workers are covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Illinois employers must grant workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to handle their own or their family members' medical issues. This requirement applies to any employer that has 50 or more employees working within 75 miles of the main job site. To qualify for FMLA, the employee must work for at least 1,250 hours over the course of 12 months prior to taking leave.

Military Leave

Illinois law allows workers to take unpaid time off to spend time with a relative who is being deployed for military service. This law functions similarly to FMLA but applies to families where at least one family member is on active duty with the U.S. military. The worker must be a parent or spouse of the person on active duty and in addition to meeting the work hour requirements for FMLA. She also must give her employer at least 14 days notice if she intends to take five or more days off for this purpose.

Domestic Violence

The Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) requires Illinois employers to allow victims of domestic violence to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to deal with the effects of domestic violence, including getting medical or psychological help for abuse. Medical or psychological issues may be covered under FMLA rather than VESSA. Employers must determine how much of an employee's leave counts against his FMLA time rather than his VESSA time.

State of Residence

Illinois has reciprocal agreements with surrounding states that allow employees to live in another state and work in Illinois. FMLA requires employers to make decisions about leave based on Illinois law, regardless of an employee's state of residence.