toro carers jobs 121123SPRINGFIELD —To ensure employees are not treated differently in the workplace or passed over in the hiring process due to their caregiver role, State Senator Natalie Toro is working to amend the Human Rights Act to protect people with family responsibilities from discrimination.  

“Just because a person has external obligations to support their family does not mean they aren’t capable of successfully doing these jobs,” said Toro (D-Chicago). “Assuming differently without any demonstrated proof that their performance has changed is discrimination and should be banned by state  laws.”


Currently, there are no laws protecting employees who are also caregivers from differential treatment, including offering lower wages, preventing advancement opportunities, or even terminating employment. These actions are often the result of employers’ biased assumptions that any employee who has family obligations outside of work must be unreliable, uncommitted and less valuable, regardless of actual job performance. This often disproportionately impacts pregnant people, working mothers, people of color and low-wage earners who are already financially vulnerable.


To better protect caregivers, Senate Bill 2616 would make it a civil rights violation for employers to retaliate against a person who speaks out about discriminatory actions they believe to be based on their family responsibilities. The measure would also expand the definition of harassment to include protections for people with family responsibilities.

“No one should be treated differently at work after they have a child or step up as a caregiver for family members,” said Toro. “This law will ensure that workers’ livelihoods are protected as they navigate the responsibilities within their lives.”  

Senate Bill 2616 awaits discussion in the spring legislative session.