New Illinois Law Requires Employers to Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy-Related Conditions

Public Act 98-1050 went into effect on January 1, 2015, in Illinois. See 775 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/2-101. The new law requires employers with one or more employees to provide a reasonable accommodation for job applicants and employees who are: (1) pregnant; (2) are recovering from childbirth; or (3) have medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth unless the employer can show the accommodation would cause an undue hardship.

The law requires all employers in Illinois to post in a conspicuous location a notice prepared by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and to include in any employee handbook information regarding an employee’s rights regarding pregnancy in the workplace and an employer’s obligation to accommodate pregnancy. In order to meet the posting requirements of Public Act 98-1050, an employer must post the English version of the Notice in a conspicuous location on the premises of the employer where notices are customarily posted. An employer may also post the Spanish version of the Notice, but may not post the Spanish version in lieu of the English version. Hard copies of the Notices are not available from IDHR. Employers must download the Notice from the IDHR’s website.