SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –Leading the effort to expand workplace anti-discrimination protections in Illinois, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, recently voted to pass legislation that establishes statewide employee protections that apply to all employers in the state.
“All workers have the right to feel respected throughout the hiring process and by a potential or current employer,” said Halpin. “This legislation simply prohibits employers from firing, refusing to hire or discriminating against workers because of who they are.”
Under current law, private businesses employing fewer than 15 employees can legally discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, order of protection status, military status, sexual orientation or unfavorable discharge from military service. Halpin sponsored and voted to pass House Bill 4572, which extends the Illinois Human Rights Act’s prohibitions against workplace discrimination to any employer in the state with more than one employee. Religious corporations and places of worship are exempt from the bill.
“Regardless of the size of a business, workplace discrimination in any form is wrong,” said Halpin. “Employees should be judged on their qualifications and ability to perform the job, not on personal characteristics that are unrelated to their employment.”
House Bill 4572 passed out of the House with bipartisan support and awaits consideration in the Senate.