Senator VillivalamCHICAGO – To protect the wellbeing of public school employees, a new law offered by State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) that will reduce the work requirement for family and medical leave was signed today.

“Our educators and school staff work on the frontlines every day to provide a quality education for our youth and deserve their leave with no strings attached,” Villivalam said. “This law commits to protecting the public health of our teachers, staff and students.”

Government agencies and elementary and secondary schools are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for specified reasons. Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours. The new law reduces the current work hour requirement from 1,250 hours to 1,000 hours.

“Building an equitable recovery starts with reducing the barriers to medical leave,” Villivalam said. “Working families need the opportunity to take care when they or a loved one is sick so we can slow the spread of the virus.”

House Bill 12 is effective Jan. 1, 2022.