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


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