The New Law Will Extend Employment Discrimination Protections to All Illinoisans
Today, the Midwest Region of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) celebrates Governor Pritzker’s approval of House Bill 252, which closes a loophole in Illinois law that left tens of thousands of workers unprotected against employment discrimination.
Previously, the provisions of the Illinois Human Rights Act addressing discrimination in employment only applied to employers with 15 or more workers, with limited exceptions. The new law brings the State of Illinois in line with 17 other states and territories that prohibit discrimination at all workplaces, including fellow Midwestern states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Similar legislation was passed by the General Assembly in 2018, but was vetoed by former Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on a number of factors, such as gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and more, but that protection was limited. It is an embarrassment that, until now, countless Illinoisans who have been discriminated against at work had no way to seek justice, simply because of how many coworkers they have,” said Anna Koeppel, LiUNA Midwest Region Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs. “We thank the Governor and the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Will Guzzardi and Sen. Cristina Castro, for once again standing with working people and righting this wrong. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly and appropriately at work.”
The Laborers’ Union represents more than 500,000 workers and has fought for the rights of working people for more than 100 years.