Illinois Religious Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Illinois Religious Discrimination: What you need to know

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits all public employers, all public contractors, and private employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating in employment on the basis of religion (IL Comp. Stat. Tit. 775 Sec. 5/1-101 et seq.). The term “religion,” as used in the Act, includes all aspects of religious observance, practice, and belief. Under the Act, it is unlawful to:
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• Refuse to hire, to segregate, or to discriminate with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, or renewal of employment on the basis of religion.
• Discharge, discipline, or discriminate against any individual with respect to tenure or the terms, privileges, or conditions of employment on the basis of religion.
• Make employment decisions related to selection for training or apprenticeship on the basis of religion.
• 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, 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 of Human Rights, 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 religion when religion is a BFOQ reasonably necessary to the normal operations of the business (i.e., hiring a Jewish rabbi to oversee the preparation of kosher foods). The BFOQ exception is rare and should be used with caution.
Religious organizations and educational institutions. ...

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