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.

Recent Posts


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