CHAPTER 2-160
HUMAN RIGHTS
2-160-010   Declaration of city policy.
2-160-020   Definitions.
2-160-030   Unlawful discriminatory activities designated.
2-160-040   Sexual harassment.
2-160-050   Religious beliefs and practices.
2-160-053   Credit history.
2-160-054   Criminal record or criminal history.
2-160-055   Job opportunity advertisements.
2-160-060   Discriminatory practices – Credit transactions.
2-160-065   Alternative identification cards.
2-160-070   Discriminatory practices – Public accommodations.
2-160-080   Exemptions for certain religious organizations.
2-160-090   Violation – Investigation by commission on human relations – Prosecution.
2-160-100   Retaliation prohibited.
2-160-110   Construction of chapter provisions.
2-160-120   Violation – Penalty.
2-160-010  Declaration of city policy.
   It is the policy of the City of Chicago to assure that all persons within its jurisdiction shall have equal access to public services and shall be protected in the enjoyment of civil rights, and to promote mutual understanding and respect among all who live and work within this city.
   The city council of the City of Chicago hereby declares and affirms:
   That prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and the discrimination occasioned thereby, and sexual harassment, threaten the rights and proper privileges of the city’s inhabitants and menace the institutions and foundation of a free and democratic society; and
   That behavior which denies equal treatment to any individual because of his or her race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, source of income, credit history (within the meaning of Section 2-160-053), or criminal record or criminal history (within the meaning of Section 2-160-054) undermines civil order and deprives persons of the benefits of a free and open society.
   Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed as supporting or advocating any particular lifestyle or religious view. To the contrary, it is the intention of this ordinance that all persons be treated fairly and equally and it is the express intent of this ordinance to guarantee to all of our citizens fair and equal treatment under law.
(Prior code § 199-1; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-02, p. 96031, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 3-14-12, p. 22749, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-5-14, p. 95804, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 2-10-16, p. 18514, § 8; Amend Coun. J. 4-18-18, p. 76346, § 1)
2-160-020  Definitions.
   Whenever used in this chapter:
   (a)   “Age” means chronological age of not less than 40 years.
   (aa)   “Applicant” means any person pursuing employment with an employer or with or through an employment agency.
   (aaa)   “Credit history” means a record of an individual's past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy.
   (aaaa)   “Credit report” means any written or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency that bears on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or credit history.
   (b)   “Credit transaction” means the grant, denial, extension or termination of credit to an individual.
   (c)   “Disability” means:
      (i)   a determinable physical or mental characteristic which may result from disease, injury, congenital condition of birth or functional disorder including, but not limited to, a determinable physical characteristic which necessitates a person's use of a guide, hearing or support dog; or
      (ii)   the history of such a characteristic; or
      (iii)   the perception of such a characteristic by the person complained against.
   (d)   “Employee” means an individual who is engaged to work in the City of Chicago for or under the direction and control of another for monetary or other valuable consideration.
   (dd)   “Employer” means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, business trust, or any person or group of persons that provides employment for one or more employees in the current or preceding calendar year, and any agent of such an entity or person. To qualify as an employer for purposes of Section 2-160-054, such individual, group, or entity must: (1) be subject to one or more of the license requirements in Title 4 of this Code; and/or (2) maintain a business facility within the geographic boundaries of the City. The City of Chicago qualifies as an employer for purposes of this Section 2-160-054.
   (ddd)   “Employment” means any occupation or vocation.
   (e)   “Employment agency” means a person that undertakes to procure employees or opportunities to work for potential employees, either through interviews, referrals, advertising or any combination thereof.
   (f)   “Gender identity” means the actual or perceived appearance, expression, identity or behavior, of a person as being male or female, whether or not that appearance, expression, identity or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's designated sex at birth.
   (g)   “Marital status” means the legal status of being single, married, divorced, separated or widowed.
   (h)   “Military status” means (1) being on active duty in, or in any reserve component of, any branch of the armed forces of the United States, the State of Illinois, or any other state; (2) being a veteran of any such branch of the armed forces; or (3) the fact of discharge from any such branch of the armed forces and the reasons for such discharge.
   (i)   “Parental status” means the status of living with one or more dependent minor or disabled children.
   (j)   “Public accommodation” means a place, business establishment or agency that sells, leases, provides or offers any product, facility or service to the general public, regardless of ownership or operation (i) by a public body or agency; (ii) for or without regard to profit; or (iii) for a fee or not for a fee. An institution, club, association or other place of accommodation which has more than 400 members, and provides regular meal service and regularly receives payment for dues, fees, accommodations, facilities or services from or on behalf of nonmembers for the furtherance of trade or business shall be considered a place of public accommodation for purposes of this chapter.
   (k)   “Religion” means all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, except that with respect to employers “religion” has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 2-160-050.
   (l)   “Sexual orientation” means the actual or perceived state of heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.
   (m)   “Sexual harassment” means any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or conduct of a sexual nature when (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; or (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for any employment decision affecting the individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
   (n)   “Source of income” means the lawful manner by which an individual supports himself and his or her dependents.
(Prior code § 199-2; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-02, p. 96031, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 3-14-12, p. 22749, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-5-14, p. 95804, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 4-15-15, p. 106130, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 2-10-16, p. 18514, § 9)
2-160-030  Unlawful discriminatory activities designated.
   No person shall directly or indirectly discriminate against any individual in hiring, classification, grading, discharge, discipline, compensation or other term or condition of employment because of the individual's race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, credit history (within the meaning of Section 2-160-053), criminal record or criminal history (within the meaning of Section 2-160-054), or source of income. No employment agency shall directly or indirectly discriminate against any individual in classification, processing, referral or recommendation for employment because of the individual's race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, credit history (within the meaning of Section 2-160-053), criminal record or criminal history (within the meaning of Section 2-160-054), or source of income.
   The prohibitions contained in this paragraph shall not apply to any of the following:
   (a)   use of an individual's unfavorable discharge from military service as a valid employment criterion where: (i) authorized by federal law or regulation; or (ii) where the affected position of employment involves the exercise of fiduciary responsibilities and the reasons for the dishonorable discharge are related to such individual's fiduciary capacity;
   (b)   hiring or selecting between individuals for bona fide occupational qualifications; and
   (c)   giving preferential treatment to veterans and their relatives as required by federal, state or local law or regulation.
(Prior code § 199-3; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-02, p. 96031, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 3-14-12, p. 22749, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 2-10-16, p. 18514, § 10)
2-160-040  Sexual harassment.
   No employer, employee, agent of an employer, employment agency or labor organization shall engage in sexual harassment. An employer shall be liable for sexual harassment by nonemployees or nonmanagerial and nonsupervisory employees only if the employer becomes aware of the conduct and fails to take reasonable corrective measures.
(Prior code § 199-4; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526)
2-160-050  Religious beliefs and practices.
   No employer shall refuse to make all reasonable efforts to accommodate the religious beliefs, observances and practices of employees or prospective employees unless the employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate an employee's or prospective employee's religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business.
   Reasonable efforts to accommodate include, but are not limited to allowing an employee: (i) to take a day of paid leave or vacation, where applicable under the employee's employment agreement; or (ii) to be excused from work without pay and without discipline or other penalty; or (iii) to elect to take the day off with pay in order to practice the employee's religious beliefs, and to make up the lost work time at a time and date consistent with the operational need of the employer's business. Any employee who elects such deferred work shall be compensated at his or her regular rate of pay, regardless of the time and date at which the work is made up. The employer may require that any employee who plans to exercise option (iii) of this subsection provide the employer with notice of the employee's intention to do so, no less than five days prior to the date of absence.
(Prior code § 199-5; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526)
2-160-053  Credit history.
   (a)   Except as otherwise provided in this section, no employer, agent of an employer, employment agency or labor organization shall do any of the following:
      (i)   Fire or refuse to hire or recruit, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to employment, compensation, or a term, condition, or privilege of employment because of the individual's credit history or credit report.
      (ii)   Inquire about an applicant's or employee's credit history.
      (iii)   Order or obtain an applicant's or employee's credit report from a consumer reporting agency.
   (b)   The prohibitions contained in this section shall not prevent an inquiry or employment action if a satisfactory credit history is an established bona fide occupational requirement of a particular position or a particular group of employees. A satisfactory credit history is not a bona fide occupational requirement unless at least one of the following circumstances is present:
      (i)   State or federal law requires bonding or other security covering an individual holding the position.
      (ii)   The duties of the position include custody of or unsupervised access to cash or marketable assets valued at $2,500 or more. For the purpose of this exception (ii), “marketable assets” means company property that is specially safeguarded from the public and to which access is only entrusted to managers and other select employees. “Marketable assets” do not include the fixtures, furnishings, or equipment of an employer.
      (iii)   The duties of the position include signatory power over business assets of $100 or more per transaction.
      (iv)   The position is a managerial position which involves setting the direction or control of the business.
      (v)   The position involves access to personal or confidential information, financial information, trade secrets, or state or national security information. For purposes of this exception, the following definitions apply:
         A.   “Personal or confidential information” means sensitive information that an employee, customer, client, or service recipient gives explicit authorization for another person to obtain, process, and keep; that an organization entrusts only to managers and a select few employees; or that is stored in secure repositories not accessible by the public or low-level employees.
         B.   “Financial information” means non- public information on the overall financial direction of an organization, including, but not limited to, company taxes or profit and loss reports.
         C.   “Trade secrets” means sensitive information regarding a company's overall strategy or business plans. This does not include general proprietary company information such as handbooks, policies, or low-level strategies.
         D.   “State or national security information” means information only offered to select employees because it may jeopardize the security of the state or the nation if it were entrusted to the general public.
      (vi)   The position meets criteria in administrative rules, if any, that the U.S. Department of Labor or the Illinois Department of Labor has promulgated to establish the circumstances in which a satisfactory credit history is a bona fide occupational requirement.
      (vii)   The employee's or applicant's credit history is otherwise required by or exempt under other applicable law.
   (c)   The prohibitions contained in this section shall not apply to any of the following:
      (i)   Any bank holding company, financial holding company, bank, savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or trust company, or any subsidiary or affiliate thereof, that is authorized to do business under the laws of Illinois or of the United States.
      (ii)   Any company authorized to engage in any kind of insurance or surety business pursuant to the Illinois Insurance Code, including any employee, agent, or employee of an agent acting on behalf of a company engaged in the insurance or surety business.
      (iii)   Any municipal law enforcement or investigative unit, including without limitation the Office of the Inspector General, Police Department, and Independent Police Review Authority.
      (iv)   Any entity that is defined as a debt collector under federal or state statute.
(Added Coun. J. 3-14-12, p. 22749, § 1)
2-160-054  Criminal record or criminal history.
   (a)   Employers that are not subject to the Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, including the City of Chicago, may not inquire about or into, consider, or require disclosure of an applicant's criminal record or criminal history until after the applicant has been determined qualified for the relevant position and notified that he has been selected for an interview, or, if there is no interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is extended to the applicant.
   The prohibitions set forth in this subsection 2-160-054(a) do not apply where:
      (1)   federal or state law excludes applicants with certain criminal convictions from the relevant position;
      (2)   a standard fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the relevant position, and an applicant's conviction of one or more specified criminal offenses would disqualify the applicant from obtaining such a bond, in which case an employer may include a question or otherwise inquire whether the applicant has ever been convicted of any of those offenses; or
      (3)   the relevant position requires a license under the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act, 210 ILCS 50/1, et seq.
   This subsection 2-160-054(a) does not prohibit providing written notice of specific offenses that will disqualify an applicant from employment in a particular position.
   (b)   If the City of Chicago, subsequent to interviewing or extending a conditional offer of employment to an applicant, determines that he has a criminal conviction, that fact, standing alone, shall not automatically disqualify the applicant from employment. Instead, the decision whether to employ the applicant shall take into account the following factors:
      (1)   the nature of the applicant's specific offense or offenses;
      (2)   the nature of the applicant's sentencing;
      (3)   the applicant's number of convictions;
      (4)   the length of time that has passed following the applicant's most recent conviction;
      (5)   the relationship between the applicant's crimes and the nature of the relevant position;
      (6)   the age of the applicant at the time of his most recent conviction;
      (7)   any evidence of rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, whether the applicant has completed a treatment or counseling program or received a certification of relief from disabilities or good conduct;
      (8)   the extent to which the applicant has been open, honest, and cooperative in examining his background; and
      (9)   any other information relevant to the applicant's suitability for the relevant position.
   (c)   In the event any employer, including one subject to the Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, makes a decision not to hire an applicant that is based, entirely or partially, on the applicant's criminal record or history, the employer shall inform the applicant of this basis at the time he is informed of the decision.
(Added Coun. J. 11-5-14, p. 95804, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 4-15-15, p. 106130, § 5)
2-160-055  Job opportunity advertisements.
   No person shall publish or cause to be published, in print or on the internet, an advertisement for, or other posting of, any job opportunity that requires the applicant for the position to be employed or which states any other preference, limitation, or discrimination prohibited by this ordinance. This prohibition does not apply to any third-party publisher of advertisements which is not itself the employer, agent of an employer, employment agency, or labor organization causing publication of the job opportunity.
(Added Coun. J. 3-14-12, p. 22749, § 1)
2-160-060  Discriminatory practices – Credit transactions.
   No person shall discriminate against any individual in any aspect of a credit transaction, or in any terms and conditions of bonding because of the individual's race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, or source of income.
(Prior code § 199-6; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-02, p. 96031, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 2-10-16, p. 18514, § 11)
2-160-065  Alternative identification cards.
   (a)   Recognition of City of Chicago ID Card as valid identification. When requiring members of the public to provide identification or proof of residency, every department of the City of Chicago shall accept the City of Chicago ID created in Chapter 2-176 as valid identification and as valid proof of residency in the City of Chicago, unless the department has reason to believe that the City of Chicago ID is counterfeit, altered, improperly issued, or that the person presenting the City of Chicago ID is not the person to whom the card was issued.
   (b)   Recognition of Mexican Matricula Consular Cards as valid identification. When requiring members of the public to provide identification, each city department shall accept as valid identification of the person a “Matricula Consular” identification card issued by the Mexican Consulate.
   (c)   Recognition of other Latin American Matricula Consular Cards as valid identification. When requiring members of the public to provide identification, each city department shall accept as valid identification of the person a “Matricula Consular” identification card issued by any other Latin American country that is represented by a consulate office in the City of Chicago, to its citizens or nationals if the issuing country's consulate has certified to the City of Chicago that the identification card meets the following security requirements:
      (1)   the issuing country authorizes the use of the card as an alternative to a passport for re-entry into the issuing country; and
      (2)   the card holder was required to provide proof of identity, nationality and address in order to obtain the card; and
      (3)   the card had a photograph of the person, the person's date of birth and the person's current local address; and
      (4)   the card has physical security features reasonably designed to protect against fraud and counterfeit reproduction, including the use of bonded paper, lamination, a hologram, and an embedded signature of the issuing officer and serialization.
   (d)   The office of the superintendent of police shall compile and make available to the members of the Chicago City Council and the city departments a list of the types of identification cards and the issuing countries that have certified to the office of the superintendent of police that their identification cards meet the requirements of this section.
   (e)   The requirements of this section do not apply under circumstances where (1) a federal or state statute, administrative regulation or directive, or court decision requires the city to obtain different identification, (2) a federal or state statute or administrative regulation or directive preempts local regulation of identification requirements, or (3) the city would be unable to comply with a condition imposed by a funding source, which would cause the city to lose funds from that source.
   (f)   Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit city departments from (1) asking for additional information from individuals in order to verify a current address or other facts that would enable the department to fulfill its responsibilities, except that this section does not permit the department to require additional information solely in order to establish identification of the person when the Matricula Consular Card is the form of identification presented, or (2) using fingerprints for identification purposes under circumstances where the department also requires fingerprints from persons who have a driver's license or state identification card.
(Added Coun. J. 6-19-02, p. 88685, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-21-04, p. 27697, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 4-19-17, p. 46765, § 3)
2-160-070  Discriminatory practices – Public accommodations.
   No person that owns, leases, rents, operates, manages or in any manner controls a public accommodation shall withhold, deny, curtail, limit or discriminate concerning the full use of such public accommodation by any individual because of the individual's race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, or source of income. The prohibition contained in this section shall not apply to the following:
   (a)   a private club or other establishment not in fact open to the public, except to the extent that the products, facilities or services thereof are made available to the general public or to the customers or patrons of another establishment that is a public accommodation;
   (b)   any facility, as to discrimination based on sex, which is distinctly private in nature, such as restrooms, shower rooms, bathhouses, dressing rooms and health clubs;
   (c)   any facility, as to discrimination based on sex, which restricts rental of residential or sleeping rooms to individuals of one sex;
   (d)   any educational institution, as to discrimination based on sex, which restricts enrollment of students to individuals of one sex; and
   (e)   notwithstanding subsections (a) through (d) above, any person may use a public accommodation or any of its products, facilities or services that are open to persons of his or her sex. For purposes of this subsection, “sex” includes both biological category and gender identity. Each person determines his or her own gender identity; no proof shall be required except his or her expression of his or her gender.
(Prior code § 199-7; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-02, p. 96031, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 2-10-16, p. 18514, § 12; Amend Coun. J. 6-22-16, p. 26608, § 1)
2-160-080  Exemptions for certain religious organizations.
   Nothing in this chapter shall apply to decisions of a religious society, association, organization or institution affecting the definition, promulgating or advancement of the mission, practices or beliefs of the society, association, organization or institution.
(Prior code § 199-8; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526)
2-160-090  Violation – Investigation by commission on human relations – Prosecution.
   The Chicago Commission on Human Relations shall receive and investigate complaints of violations of this chapter, except where such duty is modified by intergovernmental agreement, and complaints of violations of subsection (f)(3) of Section 4-6-180, and shall prepare and provide necessary forms for such complaints. No person shall refuse or fail to comply with any subpoena, order or decision issued in the course of or as a result of an investigation.
(Prior code § 199-9; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. J. 3-21-90, p. 13523; Amend Coun. J. 7-8-98, p. 72891; Amend Coun. J. 10-11-17, p. 57510, § 2)
2-160-100  Retaliation prohibited.
   No person shall retaliate against any individual because such individual has:
   (1)   opposed what he or she reasonably and in good faith believes to be an incident of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment;
   (2)   made a charge, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this Chapter, or under subsection (f)(3) of Section 4-6-180; or
   (3)   requested, attempted to request, used, or attempted to use a public accommodation as allowed in this Chapter.
(Prior code § 199-10; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. J. 10-11-17, p. 57510, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-18, p. 93551, § 2)
2-160-110  Construction of chapter provisions.
   The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of the purpose hereof. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit rights granted under the laws of the State of Illinois or the United States.
(Prior code § 199-11; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526)
2-160-120  Violation – Penalty.
   Unless another fine or penalty is specifically provided in this Code, any person who violates any provision of this ordinance as determined by this commission shall be fined not less than $100.00 and not more than $1,000.00 for each offense. In addition, any City licensee who violates any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder may be subject to license discipline pursuant to Section 4-4-280 of this Code. Every day that a violation shall continue shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
(Prior code § 199-12; Added Coun. J. 12-21-88, p. 23526; Amend Coun. 7-8-98, p. 72891; Amend Coun. J. 11-26-13, p. 68764, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-5-14, p. 95804, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 4-15-15, p. 106130, § 6)