Illinois ADA laws & safety compliance analysis

Illinois ADA: What you need to know

Comparison: State vs. Federal

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of a person's physical or mental disability, if the disability is unrelated to the person's ability to perform the job in question. The disability provisions of the Act cover all employers, regardless of size (775 IL Comp. Stat. Sec. 5/1-103).

Effective January 1, 2022, disability discrimination includes unlawful discrimination against an individual based on the individual’s association with a person with a disability.

State Requirements
'Disability' Defined
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"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 not significantly debilitating (56 IL Admin. Code 2500.20).

Federal law compared. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities, but its narrower definition of disability requires that an impairment substantially limit a major life activity. Amendments to the ADA broadened the meaning of "substantially limits" and expressly changed the definition of a "regarded as" disability under the ADA. Under the amended ADA, a person is regarded as having an ADA disability if he or she is subjected to an adverse employment action (e.g., ...

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