Earlier this month, the Illinois House of Representatives approved a measure intended to provide additional protections for pregnant employees. If passed, HB 8 will amend the Illinois Human Rights Act to require that employers provide employees reasonable accommodations relating to pregnancy and childbirth. As with the reasonable accommodations already required under the IHRA and the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer may be excused from providing reasonable accommodations where doing so would impose an undue hardship.
As the law currently stands, pregnant workers are not entitled to any reasonable accommodations in order to perform their jobs, as they are not considered to have a disability. HB 8 may require employers to provide more frequent bathroom breaks, modification to job duties or work schedules, or allow an employee to sit during her shift.