As we all watched gay and lesbian couples celebrate civil unions last June, the sense of progress was palpable. We know, however, that the fight to ensure those couples and their families are treated fairly is not complete.
The federal Family Medical Leave Act ensures that workers at large employers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child, or a parent, spouse or child with a serious health condition. But couples with civil unions in Illinois do not qualify for leave under this federal law. Take action to end this unfairness!
The Illinois Family Medical Leave Act (House Bill 4724) provides couples in a civil union the same unpaid family medical leave benefit that married couples in Illinois currently receive.
This is a small change – employers already are required to provide this benefit to married couples under federal law – but for gay and lesbian couples facing medical issues, this legislation is a significant step forward.