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Legal Information: Illinois

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Workplace Protections

July 10, 2020

Can I ask for “accommodations” at work to keep me safe from domestic, sexual, or gender violence?

You may have the right to ask for “reasonable” changes at work that will keep you safe from domestic, sexual, or gender violence. For example, you can request a transfer, reassignment, or modified schedule, a changed telephone number or seating assignment, a lock, or other safety procedures, in response to domestic, sexual, or gender violence, or threats of domestic, sexual, or gender violence.1

Your employer can deny your request for accommodations (changes) at work if your employer can show that the changes you are seeking are too hard for them to do. For example, if it would be too expensive, would cause other problems at work, or would not allow for work to get done in your department, then they can deny your request as being an “undue hardship.”2

You might want to consult with your local branch of the Illinois Human Rights Commission if you have any questions about your employer denying your request for accommodations at work.

Note: Although Illinois law does not require that you make the request for an accommodation in writing, it might be a good idea to do so. This way, you can be clear to your employer about what types of changes you need, and you have proof that you asked for the changes if your employer denies your request and you choose to pursue legal action against the employer. You might want to include copies of court records, police reports, or the same type of information that you would show to your employer if you were requesting time off from work for domestic, sexual, or gender violence issues.

1 820 ILCS § 180/30(a)(1)(C)
2 820 ILCS § 180/30(b)(4)