Chicago landlords and employers would be banned from discriminating or retaliating against Chicagoans who seek gender-affirming care or reproductive health care under a measure that cleared a City Council committee Monday.
With the unanimous endorsement of the City Council’s Health and Human Relations Committee, the full City Council is scheduled to consider the measure, backed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at its meeting scheduled for Jan. 18.
“We will continue to be loud and clear in our belief that abortion and one’s expression of their gender identity is a human right that should be protected and available to everyone in our city,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
The proposal expands an ordinance approved by the City Council in September that permanently banned the Chicago Police Department from cooperating with probes into those who travel to the city for abortions or their doctors.
The measure was authored by Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd Ward) and the members of the City Council's Progressive Caucus.
The measure would give the Chicago Commission on Human Relations authority to investigate complaints of housing discrimination or retaliation. The commission would work with the city’s Office of Labor Standards to probe complaints of workplace discrimination or retaliation, according to the proposal.
“No one should experience discrimination or retaliation for decisions they make about their own bodies and health care needs at home or in the workplace,” said Nancy Andrade, the chair of the Commission on Human Relations.
In addition, employers would be prohibited from accessing information about decisions made by an employee or their family members regarding reproductive health care or gender-affirming care without their written consent, according to the proposal.
The measure exempts religious organizations.
Chicago’s 2023 spending plan includes $3.1 million to help people access reproductive health care.