Illinois Age Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Illinois Age Discrimination: What you need to know

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits all public employers and private employers of 15 or more persons from discriminating in employment because of age (IL Comp. Stat. Ch. 775 Sec. 5/1-101 et seq.). The Act applies to applicants and employees who are 40 years of age and older. Under the Act, it is unlawful to:
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• Refuse to hire or to discriminate with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, or renewal of employment on the basis of age.
• Discharge, discipline, or discriminate against any individual with respect to tenure or the terms, privileges, or conditions of employment on the basis of age.
• Make employment decisions related to selection for training or apprenticeship on the basis of age for individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 years.
• Retaliate against a person because he or she has opposed that which he or she reasonably and in good faith believes to be unlawful discrimination or because he or she has made a charge, filed a complaint, or testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the Act.
• Aid, abet, compel, or coerce a person to commit any violation of the Act.
• Willfully interfere with the state Human Rights Commission or Department or its members or representatives.
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). It may be permissible for an employer to make an employment decision on the basis of age when age is a BFOQ reasonably necessary to the normal operations of the business. The BFOQ exception is extremely limited, and employers should use great caution in relying on the BFOQ exception when making employment decisions that have a disproportionate impact on persons of a particular age group.
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