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IDHR Mediation Program

Mediation Conference Process

NOTE: The mediation conference is held for the purpose of settling the charge filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). The mediation conference will bring forth perspectives from both parties; it is not a fact finding conference. No decision will be made based on the merits of the case. No record of what the parties say will be made by the Mediator or IDHR.

  1. With all online mediation conferences/meetings, parties will need to log into Webex, the video/conference meeting platform used by the State of Illinois, 15 minutes before the conference starts. Onsite and in-person mediation services are subject to availability of office space/scheduling, and in-person mediation will require participants to pass through security and check-in steps, as outlined for our offices.  
  2. IDHR will require both parties to acknowledge understanding of the Mediation Rules and to sign an extension form, if not previously signed.
  3. The Mediator will make an opening statement explaining how the conference will be conducted. A facilitative model of mediation will be used, which means that the Mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates communication without imposing solutions or discussing the merits of the charge. Through skilled listening and questioning, the Mediator assists the parties in identifying underlying concerns and generating solution options.
  4. The participants must agree that mediation efforts will not be introduced as evidence at IDHR, the Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC), or any judicial or administrative body, nor will the parties subpoena the Mediator to testify.
  5. Each party must have full authority to negotiate and settle at the mediation conference.
  6. Each side may make a brief statement regarding the charge and what it would consider in settlement.
  7. The Mediator may talk to either party privately; the contents of these conversations may not be shared without the party’s verbal consent.
  8. The conference can be terminated at the request of either party or the Mediator.
  9. If the charge is settled, the parties will not have an IDHR investigation nor an IHRC hearing on the merits of the charge. A written settlement agreement may be drafted and signed by the parties after the mediation conference.
  10. The parties will have ten (10) consecutive calendar days from the date of the Department’s signed withdrawal form to revoke their acceptance of the settlement.  If neither party notifies IDHR that the settlement has been revoked, in writing, IDHR will process the signed withdrawal form on the next business day following the tenth consecutive calendar day from the date signed.  If either party revokes the settlement, the case will be moved forward to the next process.
  11. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the case will be transferred to the investigation process (or hearing process, if post-investigation) and Respondent will be required to submit a position statement and the completed questionnaire.