NEW Illinois Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added Pregnancy Accommodations provisions to the Illinois Employee Handbook Builder in response to the new pregnancy discrimination and accommodation amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). These amendments, effective Jan. 1, 2015, afford expectant mothers specific workplace protections during their pregnancy and childbirth. The amendments define pregnancy to include “pregnancy, childbirth or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.”

The amendments apply to all Illinois employers and virtually all employees, including full-time, part-time and probationary employees. Employers that maintain handbooks must include a pregnancy accommodations policy.

The Illinois law goes beyond the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance in that the amendments impose an affirmative legal obligation to accommodate pregnancy and childbirth-related conditions. For more information about the amendments, please review the “Explain this to me” advisory notes on the Pregnancy Accommodations policy page in the Illinois Employee Handbook Builder.