What Protection Does Illinois Law Add to Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws?

What Protection Does Illinois Law Add to Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws?

While federal laws prohibit discrimination, Illinois law prohibits discrimination in an even greater number of protected classes. Lawyers can help you can fight discrimination in Chicago, which can be particularly prevalent in work environments.

Federal laws prohibit discrimination based on the following protected classes:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Genetic information
  • Citizenship status

In addition to these protected classes, the Illinois Human Rights Act (HRA) prohibits discrimination based on the following:

  • Ancestry
  • Marital status
  • Military status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Unfavorable discharge from military service

The HRA definition of disability is different in scope than the American Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law that defines disability as a substantial limitation of a major life activity. The HRA definition refers to individuals with a physical or mental handicap, which is viewed as a determinable “physical or mental characteristic of a person,” observable through examples such as using a support dog or having a congenital birth condition or a functional disorder, to name a few. The HRA protects people in Illinois against discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and related to financial credit. For example, discrimination is illegal when renting or selling housing. In addition, sexual harassment  is a specific type of discrimination, and sexual harassment is illegal in the work environment and is prohibited against students in higher education institutions. The HRA also prohibits retaliation against individuals reporting sexual harassment.

If you live or work in Chicago and experience discrimination, find out how experienced lawyers can help.

At the Law Offices of Mitchell A. Kline, the entire focus of our practice is on employment law and civil rights violations, such as discrimination.