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General Assembly Unanimously Passes HB8 Amending the Illinois Human Rights Act

On May 28, 2014, the Illinois General Assembly unanimously passed new amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act. The new amendments will require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related medical conditions. That being said, an employer may not require an employee to accept an accommodation she did not request, or require her to take a leave of absence if another accommodation is possible that would allow her to continue working. Additionally, the amendments expand the scope of the Human Rights Act by eliminating the fifteen employee requirement in order for an employer to be covered by the Act for purposes of pregnancy discrimination. Finally, the legislature amending the Act to prohibit retaliation for requesting, attempting to request, using, or attempting to use any reasonable accommodation – not just those related to pregnancy.

The legislation is now awaiting approval from Governor Quinn, who is expected to sign it.