Illinois Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Illinois Hiring: What you need to know

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits employers with one or more employees from discriminating against applicants or employees based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age (40 years and over), sex, marital status, order of protection status, disability, military status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, unfavorable discharge from military service, arrest record or criminal history record that has been ordered expunged or sealed, or citizenship status (Ill. Comp. Stat. tit. 775, § 5/1-101 et seq.). The term “employee” is defined to include “any individual performing services for remuneration” within the state for an employer. It also includes unpaid interns. More information is available at the Illinois Discrimination and Disabilities (ADA) sections.
Effective January 1, 2023, the term “race” includes traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles. The term “protective hairstyles” includes hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists (Ill. S.B. 3477 (2022)).
Veterans’ preference. Employers are entitled to create and use a veterans’ preference employment policy, which must be in writing, publicly posted, and applied uniformly to hiring decisions (Ill. Comp. Stat. tit. 330, § 56/15). Preference must be given to veterans in the construction of, addition to, or alteration of public works (Ill. Comp. Stat. tit. 330, § 55/1).
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Criminal history. An amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) prohibits employers from basing an employment decision on the criminal conviction record of an applicant or an employee unless:
• There is a substantial relationship between one or more of the criminal offenses and the employment sought or held.
• Granting ...

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