HR Alert

Illinois Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based on Sincerely Held Religious Practices

Amended Law Currently in Effect

An amended law in Illinois prohibits employment discrimination that requires a person to violate or forgo a sincerely held practice of his or her religion.

Religious Discrimination Prohibited
Under the amended law, employers with 15 or more employees are generally prohibited from imposing any terms or conditions that would require a person to violate or forgo a sincerely held practice of his or her religion (e.g., the wearing of any attire, clothing, or facial hair in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion) as a condition of obtaining or retaining employment (including opportunities for promotion, advancement, or transfer).

Exception
However, an exception exists if, after engaging in a bona fide effort, the employer demonstrates that it is unable to reasonably accommodate the employee's or prospective employee's sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance without undue hardship on the employer's business.

Note: The law does not prohibit an employer from enacting a dress code or grooming policy that may include restrictions on attire, clothing, or facial hair to maintain workplace safety or food sanitation.

Click here to read the text of the amended law. The law is currently in effect.


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