On March 23, 2021, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 1480, the Employee Background Fairness Act. This impacts Illinois employers because it imposes new obligations under the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) on the way they can use criminal convictions to assess employment eligibility for applicants and current employees. It also imposes new reporting and registration requirements concerning employee demographics under the Illinois Business Corporation Act (IBCA) and the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) and creates new whistleblower anti-retaliation protections under the IEPA.
What is the Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law?
Effective January 1, 2015, the Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law provides workplace protections to all expectant mothers, regardless of an employer’s size. The Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, adding “pregnancy” as a protected class under state law. “Pregnancy” is defined broadly to mean “pregnancy, childbirth, or other medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.” Accordingly, effective 1/1/15, the IHRA prohibits discrimination on the basis of “pregnancy” against applicants and employees and also requires employers to provide accommodations to expectant mothers to enable them to perform the job the job held or sought unless the employer can establishing that doing so would cause an undue hardship on the ordinary operation of the business. The Illinois law also prohibits retaliation against individuals who exercise their right to an accommodation under the law.