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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois protects employees from discrimination at work for protected classes such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and age. There may be a new protected class though.
State Senator Natalie Toro (D-Chicago) filed a bill to protect caregivers from discrimination.
“Just because a person has external obligations to support their family does not mean they aren’t capable of successfully doing these jobs,” Toro said. “Assuming differently without any demonstrated proof that their performance has changed is discrimination and should be banned by state laws.”
Advocates said there are no protections for people with family responsibilities and those people often face differential treatment, like preventing lower wages and blocking advancement opportunities, because of their outside duties.
“No one should be treated differently at work after they have a child or step up as a caregiver for family members,” Toro said. “This law will ensure that workers’ livelihoods are protected as they navigate the responsibilities within their lives.”
The bill amends the Humans Rights Act. The bill would make it a civil rights violation if a person faces retaliation from their employer for their family situation.
Toro hopes the bill will be discussed in the Spring legislative session.