The Illinois Department of Human Rights has published a new, more streamlined version of the former Employment Rights notice. The newly titled Discrimination and Sexual Harassment notice, which has a publication date of 9/18, places greater emphasis on an employee’s right to be free from unlawful sexual harassment.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office has just released the notice for a brand-new law—the Illinois Servicemember Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA)—which goes into effect on January 1, 2019. The Your Rights Under ISERRA notice, which has a publication date of 10/18, must be posted by all Illinois employers.
Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Changes
New Posting Requirement
The Discrimination and Sexual Harassment notice must be posted by employers in their place of business where employees can readily see it. Previously, employers had the option to either post the notice or include information about employees’ rights under the law in an employee handbook.
Employees have the right to reasonable accommodations based on pregnancy and disability and may ask for changes to their job if needed.
Employers may not retaliate against employees who report discrimination, participate in an investigation, or help others exercise their rights under the law.
To report discrimination, employees may now do the following:
- Contact their employer’s human resources or personnel department
- Contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) to file a charge
- Call the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline (1-877-236-7703) to speak with someone about their concerns
- Send an email to the IDHR (Intake@illinois.gov)
Contact information has also been provided for local IDHR offices in Chicago and Springfield.
Your Rights Under ISERRA
Rights, Benefits, and Enforcement of the Law
The Illinois Servicemember Employment & Reemployment Rights Act—the state version of the federal ISERRA law—protects the employment and benefits of service members who leave civilian jobs to serve the United States of Illinois. However, ISERRA expands these protections to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the following individuals:
- Those on active duty or in the Reserves, as well as the National Guard when performing state duty
- Members of the Military Auxiliary Radio System, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, Civil Air Patrol, and Merchant Marines when performing official duties in support of an emergency
Among other reasons, the law was created to:
- Minimize the disadvantages to servicemembers in civilian careers
- Provide prompt reemployment with minimal disruption to the servicemembers, their employers, and their co-workers
- Prohibit discrimination against and interference with military service
The Assistant Attorney General has been appointed to enforce the law and also serve as an ISERRA Advocate to assist both servicemembers and employers in ensuring the rights of servicemembers are protected.
For additional information about the law, servicemembers and employers can go to the Attorney General’s ISERRA Advocate webpage (www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov), or call the Military & Veterans Rights Hotline (1-800-382-3000).