Beginning next year, more educators and support staff in Illinois public school districts, universities, and community colleges will have increased access to family and medical leave.

On August 12, Governor J.B. Pritzker last week signed HB 12 into law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

Public Act 102-0335 allows school district, public university, and community college employees who have been on the job for at least 12 months and who have worked at least 1,000 hours in the previous 12-month period to be eligible for family and medical leave “under the same conditions as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993,” according to the new law.

Before this change was enacted, employees had to work at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period to be eligible for FMLA.

In addition to teachers, the change also will apply to support staff, teacher’s aides, paraprofessionals, maintenance workers, bus drivers, and food service workers. Unlike teachers, many of these other employees were unable to hit the 1,250-hour threshold because of limited workdays during the school year.

FMLA is commonly used for the birth of a child, but also can be used for serious illnesses and caring for a family member who is severely sick or was injured while on active military duty.

Whitt Law LLC has been serving Illinois school districts for more than 30 years. Our attorneys are well-versed in the Illinois School Code, personnel issues, and education law. You can contact Senior Attorney Brittany Flaherty Theis with questions regarding Public Act 102-0335. All of the attorneys at Whitt Law are available to assist you with questions regarding FMLA.