In connection with the recently enacted amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act”), pertaining to non-discrimination against and accommodation of pregnant employees and applicants, Illinois employers should be aware that the Illinois Department of Human Rights has prepared a notice for employers to post, to advise employees of the new pregnancy protections of the Act. The notice can be found here on the Illinois Department of Human Rights website. The notice has been prepared in both English and Spanish. The English version must be posted, and the Spanish version may also be posted, but cannot be posted in lieu of the English version.
As we previously reported, the changes to the law go into effect on January 1, 2015. In addition to prohibiting discrimination against pregnant employees, the amendment to the Act requires employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant applicants and employees in connection with any medical or common condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Employers are also required to update their employee handbooks to include the new pregnancy discrimination protections.
What Employers Should Do Now
- Update their employee handbooks to reflect changes in the law, including the pregnancy discrimination provisions of the Act.
- Obtain the Illinois Department of Human Rights notice and post it in each Illinois workplace.
- Train supervisors on their obligations under the new law.