What is Marital Status Discrimination?
11 June 2019
11 June 2019,
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Marital status is defined as the status of being married, single, divorced, separated, or widowed. In Illinois, employment discrimination on the basis of your marital status is protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA).

What Actions are Covered?

When an individual’s marital status motivates the decision related to an employment action or licensing action, it becomes unlawful discrimination.

Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination in:

  • • Recruitment and hiring
  • • Job assignments
  • • Pay
  • • Leave or benefits
  • • Promotion
  • • Licensing or union membership
  • • Training
  • • Layoff and firing
  • Harassment and other employment related actions

Are there any exceptions to marital status discrimination?

Yes. An employer’s policy or practice prohibiting an employee from directly supervising or being directly supervised by a spouse is not marital status discrimination. This sort of policy may be enforced due to potential conflicts of interest that can arise if one spouse is allowed to directly supervise or edit records of the other spouse.

Can an employer ask about my marital status?

The law prohibits an inquiry that implies or expresses any limitation because of a protected basis, including marital status.

An employer may make pre-employment inquiries and keep employment records to determine statistically the age, race, color, creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, or marital status of applicants and employees. Pre-employment inquiries and employment records which tend directly or indirectly to disclose such information do not constitute unlawful discrimination per se.

What should I do if I believe to have been wrongfully terminated due to my marital status?

The most important step you can take to ensure your rights are protected if you believe yourself to have been wrongfully terminated due to your marital status is to consult with an employment law attorney immediately. The Wood Law Office, LLC is prepared to investigate every aspect of your case and take any necessary action against your employer.

Contact an Experienced Illinois Employment Law Attorney

We are committed to representing you effectively to help you achieve the results you want—and the justice you may need. If you don’t see an answer to your question on this page, or wish to discuss your case with an experienced Illinois employment law attorney, do not hesitate to contact The Wood Law Office, LLC today.

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