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Governor Pat Quinn

Last week, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act that provide additional protections for pregnancy and childbirth.  Under the amendments, pregnancy is defined to include “pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.”  The law also takes effect on January 1, 2015 and its key provisions provide that employers must make reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee.  Such accommodations may include more frequent or longer breaks; a private non-bathroom space for breastfeeding; seating; assistance with manual labor; job restructuring; modified or part-time work schedules and a host of others.  Franchise owners are well advised to speak further with their employment counsel to ensure compliance.