December 29, 2014

Illinois Employers to provide special accommodations for pregnant women January 1st

Beginning next Thursday, Illinois employers will need to accommodate pregnant women working for them with work rules and special considerations.

Starting January 1, workplace provisions for women expecting babies will include limits on heavy lifting and assistance in manual labor; access to places to sit; more frequent restroom breaks; time off to recover from childbirth; and private break space for breast-feeding and expressing breast milk.

These new state rules are in addition to federal mandates requiring employers to provide for fulltime workers health care insurance that covers birth control, abortion and sterilization.

Public Act 98-1050, sponsored by State Rep. Mary E. Flowers (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), and signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn in August, requires employers to provide what the General Assembly considers "reasonable accommodations and safe working conditions for expectant mothers so that they can continue working without fear of endangering their health or the health of the child."

The Illinois Department of Health Resources has a poster summarizing requirements of the new law, including the right to be free from unlawful discrimination and information on how to file a discrimination charge, which is to be downloadable from the IDHR website at 

Source: Illinois Review