Illinois Recent Employment Law Amendments

1. Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation Act

The Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation Act amends Section 2-102 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/2-102(J). Any employer with one or more employees is prohibited from discriminating against or failing to reasonably accommodate a pregnant employee. The Act covers full-time employees, part-time employees, probationary employees, and job applicants.

Employers are required to post information concerning a pregnant employee's rights under the Act, as well as include it in any employee handbook. The required poster may be downloaded from the Illinois Department of Human Rights' website here.

A fact sheet with more details about the Act's provisions may be downloaded here.

2. Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act

The Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, 820 ILCS 75/1, et seq. applies to private employers with 15 or more employees, as well as employment agencies.

In general, the Act prohibits an employer from inquiring about or requiring disclosure of an applicant's criminal record or criminal history until the applicant has been determined to be qualified for the position and notified that he or she has been selected for an interview or, if there is no interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made. In other words, an applicant may no longer be required to disclose his or her criminal record or criminal history on the job application itself.

Only three limited categories of employers are excluded from the law.