Bill Would Expand Law To Cover Virtually All Illinois Employers
By the end of this week, there’s a very good chance that the Illinois Legislature will place on Governor Pritzker’s desk for his signature HB0252 – a bill that would eliminate the minimum employee threshold for anti-discrimination prohibitions in the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). This will make virtually any employer with as few as one employee subject to all anti-discrimination prohibitions in the IHRA.
Currently, companies with less than fifteen employees are subject only to anti-discrimination prohibitions covering sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and disability discrimination. But, if a company grows beyond fifteen employees, it is then subject to prohibitions on other forms of discrimination, like age and race. Similarly, the major federal anti-discrimination laws, like Title VII, apply only to employers with fifteen or more employees.
In 2018, the Illinois legislature passed a similar bill expanding coverage of the IHRA, but then-Governor Rauner vetoed the bill shortly before the November 2018 elections.
If passed, the bill would amend the IHRA’s definition of a covered employer to mirror the coverage under the City of Chicago and Cook County Human Rights Ordinances. But unlike those ordinances, the bill would expand anti-discrimination coverage to small employers across the entire state and give employees the right to file suit in state court.
The current draft of HB0252 provides a limited exemption for employers that are places of worship.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
And its status can be checked here.
Never miss an update from Savine Employment Law, Ltd! Subscribe to our blog by clicking the feed icon next to our social icons. You must have a feed reader installed on your browser. We like feedly. Or, join the conversation on social media through our presence on LinkedIN, Facebook and Twitter.
Gary Savine is an Illinois employment lawyer and founder of Savine Employment Law, Ltd. in Chicago. Gary regularly litigates employment discrimination cases. The firm represents employees and employers