Private employers in Illinois can now give preference to veterans when hiring new workers.
A new Illinois law will allow private employers to voluntarily establish hiring policies that give preference to veterans.
House Bill 3122, signed Tuesday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, allows an employer to voluntarily establish a preference for hiring veterans as long as the employer has a publicly posted policy that is applied uniformly for all employment decisions regarding the hiring, promotion or retention of employees.
The veterans preference policies must be in writing and publicly displayed at the workplace or on the employer's website, as well as on job applications.
A similar state law is in place for public employees.
The state’s Human Rights Act previously stated that employers could give preferential treatment to veterans “as required by the laws or regulations of the United States or this state or a unit of local government.” The new legislation amends that, adding that such preference is allowed “pursuant to a private employer’s voluntary veterans’ preference employment policy.”
“I am proud that Illinois is taking the initiative in helping veterans who oftentimes face greater barriers when finding employment,” Rauner said. “All of us have a responsibility to ensure that job opportunities are available to those who serve our country.”
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate. In the House, there were four representatives — each a Chicago-area Democrat — who voted “present,” and the rest were “yes” votes.