The Illinois Human Rights Act was recently amended to strengthen the protection of pregnant women in the workplace and to require all Illinois employers to post the new notice of pregnancy rights to inform employees of the employer’s obligation to make pregnancy accommodations. The law goes into effect January 1, 2015.
The law provides that employers may not discriminate against an employee or job applicant because of pregnancy, childbirth or related condition or because the employee or applicant requests a pregnancy accommodation or refuses to accept an employer’s accommodation.
Under the law, reasonable accommodations might include:
- more frequent or longer breaks,
- breaks for increased water intake,
- breaks for periodic rests,
- private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk and breastfeeding;
- providing seating,
- assistance with manual labor,
- light duty assignments,
- temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position,
- the provision of an accessible worksite,
- acquisition or modification of equipment,
- job restructuring,
- a part-time or modified work schedule,
- modifications of examinations, training materials, or policies,
- reassignment to a vacant position, or
- time off or leave necessitated by pregnancy.
An employer must provide a requested reasonable accommodation to a pregnant applicant or employee unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.
In addition to posting the required notice, Illinois employers are required to include in employee handbooks information about the law and the charge process. Illinois has also created a fact sheet for employers available here.
Compliance Poster Company is reformatting and updating the Illinois All-On-One™ Poster to include the required Pregnancy Rights in the Workplace notice.