August 16, 2011

Marital Status Inquiry A Form Of Discrimination

In Illinois it is a violation of the law for an employer to inquire as to your marital status. Many people will say that this sounds odd and what is the big deal? Well the problem with asking about the marital status is two fold. First, an employer may decide that a single person may be less stable or may have a harder time juggling home and kids with work. Second, and employer doesn't have a need to know your personal business. Whether you are married or not doesn't have anything to do with your job.

If you are being asked these types of questions or if you are not being promoted because you are a single mother you can contact my office and we can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). Any claim filed with the IDHR will be cross-filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") but the IDHR will take the lead in investigation. Any form of discrimination also creates a hostile work environment for workers and should be addressed. Other forms of discrimination get more headlines and are more familiar to people but marital status discrimination is actionable in Illinois.