Tougher State Human Rights Laws a Concern for Small Businesses

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 16, 2019 | Go to article overview

Tougher State Human Rights Laws a Concern for Small Businesses


Byline: Cole Lauterbach The Center Square

Small businesses in Illinois will soon have to abide by Illinois' human rights laws, which go beyond the existing federal regulations they were already required to follow.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, takes effect next July. It removed a provision that said businesses in Illinois with fewer than 15 workers were exempt from the Illinois Human Rights Act.

"The Department is proud to have supported this fundamental piece of legislation," Illinois Department of Human Rights Director Jim Bennett said.

Pritzker signed a host of other bills earlier this month that will also affect small businesses starting in July 2020.

Among them is the Workplace Transparency Act, which requires employers to use the Illinois Department of Human Rights sexual harassment prevention training program or establish a similar one, requires employers to report to the Illinois Department of Human Rights the number of judgments or rulings involving sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination annually, requires every bar and restaurant to have sexual harassment policies and prevention training, among other new rules.

Small business advocates said many companies could unknowingly face lawsuits with legal fees or settlements that could put them out of business. …

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Tougher State Human Rights Laws a Concern for Small Businesses
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