Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, it is illegal for an employer to take adverse job action against an employee because of his or her race, national origin, religion, gender, age, and disability. Additionally, the Illinois Human Rights Act specifically covers several traits that currently do not constitute protected classes under federal law, including sexual preference, sexual identity, and marital status.
Number of Employees Required for Coverage
The Illinois Human Rights Act applies to Illinois employers who employ 15 or more employees in Illinois. However, unlike federal law, for sexual harassment, retaliation, and disability discrimination claims, there is no required minimum number of employees under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Remedies for Employment Discrimination under Illinois Employment Law
Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, an employee who prevails in an employment discrimination action may recover back pay, front pay, lost benefits, uncapped compensatory damages for emotional distress, attorneys’ fees and litigation costs, but not punitive damages.