Local counselor weighs in on expansion to Illinois Family Bereavement Act

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:08 AM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM)- Illinois families who suffer a loss will have more time to grieve and process their feelings.

Next year, companies will be required to offer 10 days of unpaid leave in the event of pregnancy loss, failed adoptions, unsuccessful reproductive procedures, or other events that impact pregnancy.

Those at Cornerstone Counseling in Quincy said it’s important people are allowed to take time to grieve and process their feelings.

“The idea of allowing people time to be away from work to get their mind straight again, to think about what’s happened, to think about what happened can make them better at work, better in the family, just happier in general,” Cornserstone Counseling executive director Chris Parker said.

Employees can also use this time off to support a spouse or partner experiencing a loss.

Parker said it’s important people have a chance to process their grief, and not doing so can lead to bigger problems down the line.

“You might see depression or anxiety that may pop back up down the road, years later, months later even,” he said. “If someone had taken the time in the beginning to work through some of that, it probably would have prevented those issues from coming out,” Parker said.

He said while these provisions are a step in the right direction, more does need to be done. Parker said increasing the amount of time employees get for major losses like children and spouses is something lawmakers should look into doing.

The law goes into effect January 1, 2023

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