House Bill 8 provides pregnant women with important worker protections such as limits on heavy lifting and assistance in manual labor; access to places to sit; more frequent bathroom breaks; time off to recover from childbirth; and break space for breast-feeding.
Illinois Department of Human Rights Director Rocco Claps is reminding employers that a measure providing job protection for pregnant women goes into effect Jan. 1 and employers are required to post information about it in the workplace.
Public Act 98-1050, signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn in August, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations and safe working conditions for expectant mothers so they can continue working without fear of endangering their health or the health of the child. Provisions 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.
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, can be downloaded from the IDHR website at www.Illinois.gov/IDHR. The poster and detailed fact sheets about the law are available in English and Spanish.
Anyone who needs help under the new law or has questions may contact IDHR at (866) 740-3953.