We are pleased to share with you that the Religious Garb Bill (SB1697) was signed into Illinois law (effective immediately) by Governor Rauner on Friday, August 11.
The Religious Garb Bill was one of the bills on CIOGC’s Illinois Muslim Action Day (IMAD) legislative agenda and CIOGC has actively campaigned to garner support for the bill since early spring. The bill was originally filed by Senator Jacqueline Collins in February.
The law amends the Illinois Human Rights Act and provides that an employer cannot require a person to violate or forego sincerely held practice of one’s religion including the wearing of any attire (hijab, yarmulkes, crosses, etc.) or facial hair. Now, Illinois residents should not have to worry that their commitment to religious observance will compromise their ability to seek or retain employment.
The Illinois Human Rights Act already provided some protections for public and private employees of 15 or more, but despite existing laws, it was important to have on the books more specific provisions protecting employees from systemic workplace discrimination, more specific laws were necessary to safeguard the rights of individuals to represent themselves in accordance with practices of their faith.
Congratulations to our community and partners for their hard work and persistence in getting this bill passed. Gratitude and appreciation should also be extended to the Governor, bill sponsors, and community organizations that brought forth this victory for all Illinois citizens.
Please express your thanks to Governor Rauner for signing the Religious GarbBill into law by calling his office directly:
We also encourage you to contact the bill sponsors to express your thanks:
Rep. Theresa Mah – Robyn Gabel – Mary E. Flowers – Juliana Stratton – William Davis, Jaime M. Andrade, Jr., Stephanie A. Kifowit, Kathleen Willis, Carol Ammons, Litesa E. Wallace and Sonya M. Harper