The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. The disability provisions of the Act cover all public employers, all public contractors, and private employers with one or more employees (775 IL Comp. Stat. 5/1-101 et seq.). Individuals with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and other diseases are protected from discrimination if they meet the statutory definition of being a qualified individual with a disability.
“Disability” defined. “Disability” is defined as:
• A determinable physical or mental characteristic that is the result of disease, injury, congenital condition, or functional disorder and that may include the use of a guide, hearing, or support dog
• The history of such a characteristic, or
• The perception of such a characteristic
The characteristic must be unrelated to the person's ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position.
According to state regulations, the definition excludes conditions that are transitory, insubstantial, or nondebilitating (56 IL Admin. Code 2500.20). Active, current alcohol and drug abuse are not disabilities.
Qualified individual with a disability. A qualified individual with a disability is able to perform the essential job functions either with or without reasonable accommodation. In determining whether a person can perform essential job functions, the biases or preferences of coworkers and clients are not relevant considerations. Workplace safety is a relevant consideration.