Illinois Maternity and Pregnancy laws & HR compliance analysis

Illinois Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on sex (IL Comp. Stat. Ch. 775 Sec. 5/2-101).
“Sex” means the status of being male or female and includes pregnancy, childbirth, or conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth (IL Comp. Stat. Ch. 775 Sec. 5/2-102).
The Act covers employers with 15 or more employees (IL Comp. Stat. Ch. 775 Sec. 5/2-101 et seq.).
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Under the Act, as amended, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Refuse to hire, to segregate, or to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges or conditions of employment, or fringe benefits based on pregnancy;
• Deny employment opportunities or benefits to or take adverse action against an otherwise qualified job applicant or employee if the denial or adverse action is based on the need of the employer to make reasonable accommodations to a pregnant employee;
• Require a pregnant employee to accept an accommodation that the employee did not request and the employee chooses to decline;
• Require an employee to take leave under any leave law or policy of the employer if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to the employee;
• Fail to reinstate the pregnant employee to her original job or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay and accumulated seniority, retirement, fringe benefits, and other applicable service credits upon her signifying her intent to return or when her need for reasonable accommodation ceases unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation of reinstating the employee will impose an undue hardship on the ordinary operations of the employer; or
• Retaliate against an employee because the employee requested or was provided a reasonable accommodation.

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