Welcome to the Department of Human Rights
The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) administers the Illinois Human Rights Act. The IL Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, financial credit, public accommodations, housing and sexual harassment, as well as sexual harassment in education. A discrimination charge can be initiated by calling, writing or appearing in person at the Department’s Chicago or Springfield office within 300 days of the date the alleged discrimination took place in all cases except housing discrimination (one year filing deadline). Learn more about filing a complaint or charge of discrimination.
The Illinois Department of Human Rights Alerts
Governor Pritzker, Attorney General Raoul and IDHR Director Bennett Address Public Officials’ Safety Concerns Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Violence and Harassment: Pritzker, Raoul, and Bennett Remind Public Officials to Enforce Non-Discrimination Policies in Public Spaces
December 22, 2022: Governor JB Pritzker, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and IDHR Director Jim Bennett partnered to address safety concerns from public officials after recent incidents of anti-LBGTQ+ violence, harassment and threats directed toward public officials and community members.
In a letter and accompanying resource document, Raoul, JB Pritzker and Bennett highlighted statutory and constitutional obligations and also encouraged public officials to work with law enforcement to monitor and address safety concerns. Raoul, Pritzker and Bennett explained that some public officials have faced threats or harassment concerning LGBTQ+ events or have been pressured to deny LGBTQ+ events due to fears of civil disturbance or public safety concerns. Public officials were reminded that they must also ensure targeted groups are not penalized or excluded from public spaces.
Read the full letter, press release, and resource from the Illinois OAG, Governor, and IDHR.
The Illinois Human Rights Act Expands Protections to include Hair-Based Discrimination
June 29, 2022: Governor Pritzker signed SB3616, also known as the CROWN Act, into law, codifying protections for Illinoisans discriminated against due to hairstyles historically associated with specific racial groups. The act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair, categorizes traits such as hair texture or protective styling as race-based and therefore protected under bans against racial discrimination.
The CROWN Act, introduced by Senator Mattie Hunter, expands these protections to other covered situations under the Illinois Human Rights Act, including employment, housing, financial transactions, and public accommodations. Illinois is one of only a handful of states to pass the CROWN Act, a national version of which passed the U.S. House of Representatives but has failed to advance in the U.S. Senate. The bill expands and clarifies the definition of race to include traits commonly associated with a race, including by not limited to these hairstyles and textures. This law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.
The Illinois Human Rights Act Protects Equal Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services
June 24, 2022: The Illinois Department of Human Rights applauds Governor Pritzker’s leadership in protecting reproductive rights in Illinois. The Illinois Attorney General has released guidance reassuring the public that Illinois law protects reproductive rights including the right to have an abortion.
Illinois Department of Human Rights believes that everyone has an inalienable right to live free from discrimination, in every aspect of life. The Illinois Human Rights Act ensures individuals have equal access to healthcare, including abortion, regardless of factors such as their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
To read the guidance, please visit the Illinois State Attorney website.
If you believe you have been discriminated against based on any protected factor, file a charge by visiting the IDHR webpage, Filing a Claim.
Human Rights Act Expanding Protections from Discrimination in Housing
May 23, 2022: Governor JB Pritzker signed HB2775 that amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to ban discrimination in housing selection based on source of income, including non-employment income such as Section 8 vouchers or disability payments.
Click here to read the full Source of Income Illinois E News Release.
IDHR Releases Guidance to Further Protect Transgender, Nonbinary and Gender Non-Conforming Students
December 2021: IDHR announces the release of non-regulatory guidance on non-discrimination protections for transgender, nonbinary and gender non-conforming students under the Illinois Human Rights Act (Act).
The new guidance document was developed based on a recommendation from the Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force. School districts, students and their families will now have a resource to better understand the protections afforded by the Act that ensure welcoming, safe, supportive, and inclusive school environments for all.
Access the complete guidance online, or read/download the guidance and press release from December 2021.
Human Rights Act Enhanced to Include Work Authorization Status Protection
August 2, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 121, ensuring the Illinois Human Rights Act protects anyone with federal work authorization, the legal requirement necessary to work in the United States, from employment discrimination. When verifying employment, employers may not refuse to hire an individual based on the status or length of status of their work authorization. This new change aligns protections in the Illinois Human Rights Act with those already in federal law.
Click here to read more about Work Authorization Status Protections.
Report Adverse Judgments and Administrative Rulings Under 5/2-108
Beginning July 1, 2020, and by each July 1 thereafter, each employer that had an adverse judgment or administrative ruling against it in the preceding calendar year shall disclose annually to the Department of Human Rights, the following information: the total number of adverse judgments or administrative rulings during the preceding year; whether any equitable relief was ordered; and the number of adverse judgments or administrative rulings entered against the employer within specific categories outlined in Section 2-108(B) of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Download the FAQ for Employers under Section 5/2-108 for more information. (Chinese) (Polish) (Spanish)
To report adverse judgments or administrative rulings, access and download the Form IDHR 2-108.
Illinois Human Rights Act Amended to Add Conviction Record Protections
Senate Bill 1480 adds another layer of protection for anyone that has come into contact with public law enforcement. Any person who believes they are experiencing discrimination at work or with a potential job because of their conviction record can now file a charge of discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. To assist Illinois employers with compliance and job-seekers, the IDHR has developed a comprehensive FAQ. Read all IDHR's FAQ regarding conviction record protections and access the FAQ document.
Filing a Charge of Discrimination
IDHR administers the Illinois Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, fair housing, financial credit, public accommodations and sexual harassment in education. Should you need to file a charge, IDHR can assist in the charge filing process.