New Law Mandates Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Women

Web Admin - Thursday, December 11, 2014

pregnant woman wrongful termination, employee rights lawyerDiscrimination against pregnant women in the workforce has long been a concern, and now the Illinois legislature has passed a new law designed to help give women greater protection. The new law modifies the Illinois Human Rights Act, effective starting next year, to more clearly protect pregnant women's rights. The new rights include the right to reasonable accommodation of their pregnancy by their employers, protection from employment discrimination, and protection from forced leave. The law also grants employers some protection from unreasonable demands, such as the ability to refuse accommodations if such accommodations would place an undue hardship on the business.

New Rights for Pregnant Women

The law includes four new rights for “women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to childbirth.” The most legally complex of these rights is the right to a reasonable accommodation of their pregnancy. These accommodations are changes to the employee’s duties or their workspace that allow the employee to perform the “essential duties” of the position. The law provides some examples of these reasonable accommodations, which may include things like more frequent bathroom breaks, private space for breastfeeding, or a modified work schedule.

The law also provides another set of more concrete rights to pregnant women. For instance, employers may not force accommodations onto a pregnant woman if she does not want them, a provision that is likely designed to protect women from being forced to modify or reduce their work schedules. Similarly, the law forbids an employer from forcing a pregnant woman to take maternity leave if she chooses not to.

Employer's Rights

The law also includes a new set of rights for employers that relate to the issue of reasonable accommodation. The first right is that employers can claim that the accommodation the woman is asking for would place an undue hardship on the company. The law defines undue hardship as “an action that is prohibitively expensive or disruptive.” It also provides four factors for judges to consider when determining whether something is an undue hardship:

  1. 1. The nature and cost of the accommodations;
  2. 2. The financial resources of the facility providing the accommodation and the accommodation's impact on the company's operations;
  3. 3. The resources and size of the employer; and
  4. 4. The type of work the employer does.

This provides a highly individualized test that depends greatly on both the specific employer and the accommodation requested. The law also provides the employer with the right to request medical documentation supporting the need for the accommodation.

If you believe that your rights under this new act are being violated or if you are an employer concerned about your obligations under the new law, contact a Crystal Lake employment law attorney today. Our firm helps many northwest suburban employees and businesses in towns like Rolling Meadows, Crystal Lake, Arlington Heights, Inverness, Deer Park, Palatine, and Barrington.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Retaliatory Discharge and Whistleblower Claims in Illinois

Web Admin - Thursday, January 30, 2014

illinois whistleblower employment lawyerIllinois law creates something called an “at-will” employment relationship between an employee and an employer. Ordinarily, this means that an employer may fire an employee for any reason or even no reason at all. But, Illinois law does create an exception in cases of retaliatory discharge.

A retaliatory discharge occurs when an employer fires an employee for taking an action that is protected by either a statute or general public policy. One of the most common actions that gives rise to a retaliatory discharge claim is an employer's firing of an employee after “whistleblowing.” Whistleblowing means that an employee reported suspected illegal conduct by the employer to the government, and it is protected by 740 ILCS 174.

Illinois Whistleblower Protection

Illinois law provides statutory protection to whistleblowers, so that their employers cannot fire them in retaliation for their reporting. However, the law has a limited set of actions that qualify as whistleblowing for the purposes of legal protection. Employers may not fire their employees for reporting their illegal conduct to a government or law enforcement agency, testifying against them in court, or refusing to perform an illegal act. Furthermore, the information that the employee provides does not actually have to expose any illegal conduct on the part of the employer. Instead, the employee merely needs a reasonable belief that the information involves an illegal act.

The law also contains a few other miscellaneous provisions. It prohibits employers from putting in place policies that that would prevent an employee from disclosing information that they believed involved an illegal act on the part of the employer. Additionally, the law includes a catch-all provision, designed to provide broader protection to whistleblowers. It forbids employers from retaliating against employees for attempting to expose any “public corruption or wrongdoing.”

In addition to forbidding retaliatory discharge, the law also recognizes other types of actions as retaliation. Generally speaking, the law forbids employers to retaliate with “materially adverse employment actions.” While termination is certainly the most common, other things like demotions, pay cuts, transfers and shift changes may qualify under certain circumstances.

In the event that the employee proves that they suffered retaliation, the law provides them with a variety of remedies, including:

  • • Reinstatement; 
  • • Back pay with interest; 
  • • and Compensation for damages from the violation.

If you believe that you suffered a retaliatory discharge for whistleblowing or some other protected act, contact a Chicago employment lawyer today. Call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team. We serve many Northwest Suburban areas including Barrington, Palatine, Schaumburg, and other surrounding communities.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Recent Posts


trust payments Palatine workers compensation lawyer Illinois workplace lawyer no contest clauses Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Family Medical Leave Act insurance claims criminal law Illinois car accident attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer traffic laws Inverness civil lawyer commercial leases wage theft Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer personal injury drug crimes employee misclassification Des Plaines pet law attorney traffic deaths probate personal injury lawyer personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys spinal cord injuries Illinois Smoke Detector Act Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys Illinois traffic attorney wills IRA benefits nursing home negligence Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Whistleblower Claims elder law Des Plaines collections attorney Des Plaines civil attorney Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer defective products Colin Gilbert Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Palatine drug lawyer Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Schaumburg car accident attorney Palatine probate lawyer Arlington Heights real estate lawyer overtime pay Illinois corporate lawyer insurance denials Illinois pedestrian accident attorney business litigation Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Illinois wills and trusts Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney criminal first degree murder insurance adjusters Illinois trusts attorney vacation home insurance disputes Illinois insurance dispute lawyers preventing accidents Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Crystal Lake tax lawyer capital gains tax Schaumburg traffic lawyer life insurance lawyer Chicago attorney Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Schaumburg employment law attorneys Illinois DUI attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Chicago car accident lawyer Illinois employment laws Chicago corporate attorney DUI attorney swimming pools Chicago estate planning license reinstatement Des Plaines insurance attorney Fair Labor Standards Act Rolling Meadows Attorney DUI jet ski accidents caregiver drug possession Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Palatine elder law attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney privacy college kids Arlington Heights TBI attorney Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Illinois law small business elder abuse Barrington Traffic Lawyer disability benefits Fourth of July residential real estate food poisoning ACA living wills slip and fall accidents cell phone accidents employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, blended families Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute estate planning lawyer cell phone tower data golf accidents involuntary manslaughter trucking accident lawyers Deer Park employment law attorney forming a corporation in Illinois texting and driving Barrington real estate lawyer Illinois registered agent Illinois wills and trusts attorneys insurance claim Chicago insurance law firm wrongful termination hands free device Chicago will attorney Crystal Lake employment lawyer real estate digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers traumatic brain injuries modern family estate planning Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer crossover accidents Barrington employment attorney Arlington Heights accident attorney overtime violations BUI loopholes Palatine law firm rent to own real estate contracts Arlington Heights trucking lawyer healthcare claims boating accidents liability claims internet Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer fiduciary rule Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Deer Park traffic accident attorney Crystal Lake injury attorney brain injury insurance agents anesthesia errors digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Super Mario clemency Crystal Lake traffic lawyer criminal record wrongful death Palatine criminal defense lawyer severance agreements Illinois pet lawyer underfunded trust Illinois insurance claim attorney unfunded trust deed transfer corporate law Joliet general practice lawyers Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm controlled substance Arlington Heights tax lawyer Barrington estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove corporate attorney living trust benefits Illinois injury lawyer sexual harassment Inverness corporate attorney FSLA IRA trust transfer Illinois red light cameras Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Palatine corporate attorney Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Barrington personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows tax attorney living trust Landlord Tenant Ordinance foreclosure Schaumburg real estate lawyer Inverness personal injury attorney estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Illinois employee rights attorney. Illinois lawyer Des Plaines accident attorney underage DUI probate claims mortgage condo Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Arlington Heights injury attorney Palatine business attorney workers compensation benefits probate claims process Des Plaines claims law firm pain and suffering digital assets construction contracts Illinois personal injury lawyer estate tax insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys DNR Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers civil rights violation trauma after an accident Palatine civil attorney Illinois insurance lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Palatine punch death product liability vacation home fines Illinois Trust Code independent contractor estate planning for college students Schaumburg injury lawyer changes to mortgage law Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Inverness traffic law firm holiday statistics Chicago estate planning lawyer Palatine traffic lawyer liability Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Arlington Heights estate planning attorney landlord tenant law Palatine insurance lawyer Policy Cancellation personal injury law firm Inverness estate planning lawyer Schaumburg estate planning lawyer unpaid assessment BAIID underinsured motorist rest breaks traffic violations power of attorney for healthcare Illinois will lawyer real estate contract bad faith insurance claims income distribution deducation car accident Illinois boating accident lawyer Mount Prospect real estate lawyer BAC TBI employment law Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Illinois workers compensation attorney civil litigation digital evidence work unions field sobriety test driving Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Class A misdemeanor Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Illinois insurance attorney Attorney Ken Apicella medical research Illinois murder Long Grove real estate attorney Arlington Heights personal injury attorney dram shop law Buffalo Grove employment lawyer manufacturing Barrington estate planning lawyer insurance negligence employee discrimination hit and run accident new real estate form right to work attorney fees Illinois employment attorneys reckless homicide Illinois employment lawyer Des Plaines DUI attorney Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney traffic accidents medical malpractice mass shooting Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Inverness DUI lawyer coronavirus Illinois speeding lawyer Illinois Human Rights Act senior citizens comparative negligence CAM medication errors Illinois traffic attorneys Crystal Lake traffic attorney unauthorized overtime insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Do Not Resuscitate whistleblower protections Palatine construction attorney suspended license Barrington boating accident attorney auto accidents Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers healthcare Rolling Meadows Illinois insurance claims lawyers ObamaCare Illinois LLC creation Inverness real estate lawyer subcontractor real estate attorney agent Barrington criminal defense lawyer Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Liquor Control Act Barrington business law firm Crystal Lake car accident attorney hiring employees Chicago insurance claim attorneys traffic tickets spinal cord injury federal crimes Rolling Meadows traffic law firm accidental death benefits landlord motorcycle accident dealing with problem employees real estate closing Illinois probate lawyer bicycle accidents PTSD estate planning trusts personal injury claim Des Plaines personal injury lawyers drunk driving statistics Chicago trucking accident attorney distracted driving accident victims health insurance dispute estate planning attorney Chicago traffic lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Illinois attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer premises liability guardianship attorney power of attorney Illinois traffic laws IRS Illinois wrongful termination lawyer traumatic brain injury insurance claim denials Thanksgiving Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers investment property Palatine employment lawyer Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Schaumburg insurance lawyers products liability foreclosed rental property back injuries Crystal Lake personal injury attorney sole proprietorship Barrington medical malpractice lawyers fiduciary rule delay Schaumburg probate attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake will lawyer truck collisions life insurance policy slip and fall IRELA medical malpractice compensation Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Inverness elder law lawyer icy parking lots problem employees Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Illinois jet ski accident lawyer trucking accidents filing a medical malpractice claim Chicago biking tips Deer Park traffic lawyer Barrington injury attorney marijuana preventable medical errors wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace estate attorney Chicago employment lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer special needs trust Forcible Entry murder defense estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, DUI penalities Deer Park medical malpractice attorney LLCs meal breaks Illinois estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Barrington criminal lawyer Inverness accident lawyer car accident lawyers federal regulations for LLCs Crystal Lake pet attorney eluding a police officer advance healthcare directive Inverness injury lawyer School Visitation Rights Act Colin H. Gilbert Illinois defective products attorney dynasty trusts Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Illinois elder law attorney personal injury accidents rollover accidents natural gas car collision personal injury claims Palatine Attorney appealing an insurance claim Illinois employment law attorneys bike accident natural gas explosion Des Plaines tax law firm Illinois estate planning Illinois mortgages DGAA Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Des Plaines real estate attorney blood alcohol content cell phone expungement Transfer on Death Instrument Illinois real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Illinois criminal defense attorney license suspension real estate zoning operating agreements Home Remodeling Repair Act Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer gift taxes Kenilworth estate planning attorney financial advisors commercial real estate Affordable Care Act contracts Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Barrington attorney Inverness probate lawyer traffic crimes Barrington personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights lawyer boating under the influence traffic offenses job lawyers taxes Des Plaines criminal attorney Barrington employment law attorney Rolling Meadows insurance attorney irrevocable trust Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer defective products lawyer medical malpractice claims pet bites denial of life insurance life insurance claims employment lawyer Des Plaines injury law firm tax attorney Illinois insurance disputes rollover car crashes Illinois medical malpractice claim insurance attorney car crashes license automated cars Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal attorney pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Long Grove estate planning GM ignition switches Illinois real estate institutional trustee Illinois workers compensation lawyer Illinois business law atorneys pregnant women workplace sexual harassment Chicago employment attorney Palatine civil litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney probate fees Illinois living will murder charges Exclusions Barrington civil litigation attorney Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Illinois personal injury attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorneys motorcycle accident lawyer Inverness insurance attorney Legal Info head on collisions breach of contract caretaker rights Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Deer Park accident attorney pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality breathalyzer test dog bites insurance claim dispute Deer Park personal injury lawyer Employment Discrimination Law marijuana crimes attorney Illinois job attorney medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers revenge porn Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Barrington workers compensation attorney Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Illinois employment law firm liens employment attorney Illinois collections attorney Jay Andrew Arlington Heights Attorney Schaumburg drug defense lawyer rumble strips ken apicella Arlington Heights insurance attorney Palatine traffic accidents surgical mistakes Barrington drug crime attorney bicycle dooring accidents car accident lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Des Plaines personal injury attorney employees insurance dispute Buffalo Grove law firm Illinois medical malpractice case Des Plaines real estate lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorneys unpaid overtime Arlington Heights traffic attorney Mount Prospect elder law attorney loss of consortium workers comp living trust vs will trustee employee rights owner responsibility Palatine real estate lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer drunk driving Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Illinois Sales Representative Act pay when paid contract commercial leasing Illinois small business Self-Directed IRA Accounts Illinois personal injury lawyers Chicago lawyer low-ball insurance settlement DUI defense Des Plaines drug lawyer child safety life insurance Illinois medical malpractice attorney Illinois construction accident attorney trench injuries Palatine employment law lawyer Schaumburg employment attorney POA drug crime Crystal Lake employment law attorney startup company insurance claim denial South Barrington real estate attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws consent to a search insurance claim delay Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Retaliatory Discharge Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer drugs Illinois home inspection Illinois employment law Deer Park workers compensation lawyer insurance claim dispute attorney Buffalo Grove probate lawyer insurance dispute attorney Crystal Lake law firm Des Plaines Barrington employment law firm real estate leasing Illinois rollover accident lawyers Long Grove real estate lawyer texting while driving estate plan home inspection lawyer sexual images Crystal Lake employment attorney fault based insurance denied insurance claims Illinois driving without license traffic violations defense real estate lawyer comp time creditors in terrorem provision Schaumburg boating DUI uninsured motorist Illinois bicycle safety license revocation Inverness real estate attorney homestead rights Palatine estate planning lawyer construction accidents Illinois personal injury car crash fatal car accidents construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Deer Park real estate law firm jet ski Palatine injury attorney speeding Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney medical marijuana compensatory time Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Rolling Meadows employment attorney Illinois estate planning law firm pedestrian accident Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Palatine personal injury lawyer social media after death Schaumburg criminal law attorney FMLA pet law pizza emoji Illinois Probate Act of 1975 condo association wills and trusts minimum wage criminal defense personal injury attorney Schaumburg elder law lawyer Detainer Actions Crystal Lake accident attorney drug crimes lawyer Palatine employment attorney paid sick leave Long Grove estate planning attorney Mt Prospect Attorney Illinois trucking safety Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Rolling Meadows business lawyer DMV privacy laws Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer South Barrington real estate lawyer Schaumburg Attorney llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident Arlington Heights car accident lawyer probate process Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys estate planning Schaumburg corporate attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Palatine trusts lawyer trusts car accidents Schaumburg criminal attorney distracted driving accidents car crash injuries probate lawyer insurance denial appeals real estate attorneys employment contract Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Arlington Heights employment attorney Deer Park DUI lawyer Illinois business lawyer Illinois traffic accident lawyer installment contracts Barrington litigation attorney Crystal Lake business law attorneys workers compensation gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Schaumburg estate planning attorney Illinois employment law attorney Arlington Heights car crash attorneys insurance agent negligence Schaumburg personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Home Sale Contingencies Illinois tax attorney deadly crashes civil litigation attorney denied insurance claim digital information Deer Park criminal attorney