State Rep. Will Guzzardi ( D-Chicago ) has filed new legislation that expands state employment protections to individuals working for smaller firms.
While Illinois has fairly robust employment anti-discrimination laws, those protections apply mainly to persons working for businesses or organizations with 15 or more employees. But legislation filed by Guzzardi, HB 4572, "provides that 'employer' includes any person employing one ( instead of 15 ) or more employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year of or preceding the alleged violation."
Guzzardi filed the bill Feb. 6 and it has been assigned to the House Labor & Commerce Committee, which is scheduled to hear it April 10. Co-sponsors include state Reps. Elizabeth Hernandez ( D-Cicero ) and Mary Flowers ( D-Chicago ).
"Discrimination on the basis of gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation is perfectly legal in Illinois, as long as you're a small business," said Guzzardi in an April 3 statement. "That's wrong, and we're setting out to change that. The Human Rights Act should protect everyone at every workplace in Illinois."
Further information on the bill, including full text, is at bit.ly/2GDh7Sc.