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New Public Acts 

 

  New Public Acts Amending the Illinois Human Rights Act

  The following is a list of recent Public Acts which have made substantive changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act.

  • P.A. 97-0022:    For charges filed after January 1, 2012, allows parties to voluntarily waive the fact finding conference.
  • P.A. 97-0396:  Effective January 1, 2012, the amendment redefines the race and national origin categories of State Agency Affirmative Action plans as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
  • P.A. 97-0410:  Effective January 1, 2012, the amendment provides that the definition of disability for places of public accommodation cases includes any mental, psychological, or developmental disability, including autism spectrum disorders.
  • P.A. 97-0596:    Effective August 26, 2011, the amendment provides that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.  Further, the amendment modifies procedures for cases in which both the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and the Department of Human Rights have jurisdiction and describes how those cases shall be processed and what rights a claimant has under various types of dispositions of the charge, including a request for a Department investigation using the EEOC file.  Additionally, the amendment provides that the time limits under the Act are tolled until the EEOC issues its determination.
  • P.A. 97-0913:  Effective January 1, 2013, the amendment added Sections 2-1401.1, 9-107.10, 9-107.11 and 15-1501.6 to the list of statutes protected under Section 6-102 of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
  • P.A. 97-1032:  Effective January 1, 2013, the amendment added a provision to Section 10-104 of the Illinois Human Rights Act giving the Attorney General's office the authority to issue subpoenas.
  • P.A. 98-1037:  Effective January 1, 2015, the amendment expands the definition of employee under Section 2-101(A)(1) of the Act to allow “unpaid interns” to file charges of discrimination alleging sexual harassment discrimination under Section 2-102(D) of the Act.
  • P.A. 98-1050:  Effective January 1, 2015, the amendment expands coverage for pregnancy discrimination.  The amendment applies to any employer employing one or more employees and defines pregnancy as pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.  The amendment creates a duty for employers to accommodate employees because of their pregnancy unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the ordinary operations of the business of the employer.  The amendment also prohibits an employer from:   taking an adverse employment action against an employee because the employee requested an accommodation; from requiring an employee to accept an accommodation which the employee did not request and does not want; and requiring a pregnant employee to go on leave if another reasonable accommodation is available to the employee.  Finally, the amendment requires employers to post a Notice [link to Notice] informing their employees of their rights under the amendment and to include such information in their employee handbooks.

 

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