CHICAGO – State Rep. Aarón Ortíz, D-Chicago, opened up workplace leave eligibility to the families of victims of violent crime, giving them time to coordinate end-of-life services, grieve and be with their loved ones.
“Victims of gender and sexual violence and stalking can take unpaid time off to prepare legal assistance and get medical care, but we don’t do the same for victims of violent crime,” Ortíz said. “Families of fallen loved ones shouldn’t have to decide between preparing their loved ones’ services, grieving and going back to work. This legislation provides that compassionate support that victim advocates have been asking for.”
Ortíz’s House Bill 2493 would expand what employees can take unpaid leave for to include preparing for or participating in arrangements following the loss of a household member due to an act of violence. 10 workdays would be guaranteed, and full benefits will continue to be available. Employers and employees will work together to certify the time off with a notice, a death certificate or another document. House Bill 2493 now moves to the Senate.
Ortíz has a history of supporting comprehensive public safety initiatives, championing Senate Bill 2193 which cracked down on rising freight related burglaries in Illinois. He also helped pass House Bill 2521 to safeguard workers from obstacles to joining labor organizations.
“While we’ve made significant progress in terms of our crime-fighting efforts and stopping violent crime before it happens, this legislation is needed so that families do not need to feel the added burden after losing a loved one,” Ortíz said. “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to deliver this much needed legislation.”