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IDHR Mediation Program

Mediation Fact Sheet

The Illinois Department of Human Rights’ Mediation Program gives parties to employment, sexual harassment (in employment & higher education), retaliation and public accommodation discrimination charges an opportunity to attend a mediation conference to discuss disputes and resolve their differences. Successful mediation may result in a settlement of the charge and closure of the file. If the mediation is not successful, the case will continue to be processed and investigated.

  • The mediator is neutral and does not represent either party.
  • The mediator does not decide the dispute.
  • The mediation conference is confidential and is not part of DHR's investigation.
  • Mediation is an alternative to an investigation.

If you have filed a charge with the Department and no fact-finding conference has been scheduled, you may contact the Mediation Unit to request a conference using this link: IDHR Mediation Unit. Your request must include your name, contact information, and charge number.


  • MEDIATION is free. There is no cost to either party and you do not need an attorney to participate. DHR's trained mediators provide the parties an opportunity to resolve the dispute before spending a lot of time and money to prepare or defend a case.
  • MEDIATION is fast. A mediation conference can be scheduled soon after the charge is filed; an investigation may take months to be assigned, with additional time to complete the investigation.
  • MEDIATION gives both parties the chance to be heard and give their side of the story, and also allows the parties to hear each other's concerns and work toward a resolution.
  • MEDIATION can help the parties put the dispute behind them quickly. Because the dispute can be resolved soon after the charge is filed (as opposed to investigation), the damages are mitigated.


  • The parties can settle the charge at the mediation conference which will close the case at DHR.
  • If no settlement is reached, DHR will investigate the charge.


Some options for resolving the charge are:
  • reinstatement
  • reference letter
  • clearing complainant's file of discipline
  • training
  • back pay
  • harassment stopped
  • development and posting of non-discriminatory policies
  • promotion

Contact the Mediation Unit to request a conference.