Illinois Enacts Law Requiring Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Women

The Land of Lincoln has come to the aid of pregnant employees. Under an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act just signed by the governor, employers are prohibited from taking adverse actions against female employees requesting reasonable accommodation during pregnancy and childbirth. Employers must grant the requested accommodation unless they show that to do so would cause them an undue hardship.

The new Illinois law (House Bill 8) mirrors what the EEOC is trying to do with its new enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination, which is to make reasonable accommodation the norm for pregnancy just like it is for an employee or applicant with a disability.

Another law signed by the governor allows complaints of equal pay violations to be lodged directly with the state Department of Human Resources if there is also an allegation that the employer has violated the state’s Human Rights Act.

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