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Employee Privacy: Illinois

Employee Privacy requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Steve Miller and Theresa Essig, Fisher Phillips


  • Illinois courts recognize common law claims for invasion of privacy. See Invasion of Privacy.
  • In Illinois, it is generally a criminal offense to eavesdrop on the conversations or electronic communications of others without their consent or judicial authorization. An exception is provided for employers in certain industries. See Electronic Monitoring of Employees.
  • Illinois employers must obtain employee consent before videotaping employees in restrooms, locker rooms or changing areas. See Video Surveillance.
  • While employers generally may consider previous criminal convictions in making employment decisions, employers may not base employment decisions on arrest records or sealed or expunged convictions. See Arrest and Conviction Records.
  • Illinois law prohibits discrimination based on an employee's or applicant's credit history. See Credit History.
  • Drug testing is neither required nor prohibited in the private sector. See Drug Testing.
  • Employers cannot collect or keep records regarding employees' associations, political activities, communications or non-employment activities unless they obtain written authorization from the employee. See Personnel Records.
  • Illinois has personal information protection laws that limit the ways in which employers may use employees' personal information and require employers to follow certain guidelines when disposing of documents containing personal information. See Personnel Records.
  • Employers must notify employees if personal information is released to an unauthorized individual. See Notification of Personal Information Security Breach.
  • Illinois law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for activities performed outside of work. See Legal Non-Work Activities.
  • Employers in Illinois are prohibited from requesting or requiring that applicants or employees provide their user name and password for the purpose of gaining access to that individual's private social networking account or profile. See Social Media Password Privacy Protection.