Amendment to Chicago Human Rights Ordinance Protects Bodily Autonomy of Workers
As of February 1, 2023, the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (“CHRO”) provides protections for the bodily autonomy of workers.
Under the amendment, an employer may not discriminate or retaliate against an applicant or employee because of the decision(s) of that individual, or of that individual’s family member, regarding reproductive health care or gender-affirming care. Employers also may not require an applicant or employee to sign a waiver which purports to deny that individual (or a family member) of that person’s right to make decisions relating to reproductive health care or gender-affirming care.
Additionally, the CHRO now prohibits an employer from accessing information about an employee’s (or a family member’s) decision(s) regarding reproductive health care or gender-affirming care without receiving prior informed consent from the employee. An employer is required to inform the employee, both orally and in writing, that it seeks to access such information. The employee must be informed that consent is voluntary and can be revoked at any time. After receiving such notice, an employee may grant their consent, in writing, to the employer. Discrimination or retaliation against an employee who denies consent to access their (or a family member’s) reproductive health care or gender-affirming care information is prohibited under the CHRO.