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With the advent of the new year comes a flurry of new legislation. Among other things, the new laws that took effect offer some important expansions for domestic partners to use sick leave. While the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act not expand which employers must provide paid sick leave or the benefits that must be offered, it does create some important new provisions for the circumstances under which an employee can utilize sick leave.

Under the new law, an employer who offers paid sick leave to an employee must allow an employee to use the time to care for a family member. Furthermore, the law recognizes the familial nature of a domestic partnership relationship, and includes domestic partners in the list of persons who can be cared for using sick leave.

Being in a domestic partnership in Illinois is a more secure choice than it may be in other states in the union, but there are still many areas that require specific knowledge to navigate. Regardless of the issue that you and your domestic partner may be facing, experienced legal counsel can help you dive deep into the constantly changing legal landscape with confidence.

Even though the law has expanded the rights of domestic partnerships, the acceptance of domestic partnerships is still taking time to reach every corner of the country. If you face difficulty having your rights enforced, the representation of an experienced attorney can help you evaluate your experience and form a strategy to see that the law is upheld and your rights are respected.

Source: Cook County Record, “New laws at state, local level bring changes in 2017 employers should be mindful of, labor attorney says,” Christopher Knoll, Dec. 30, 2016