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Employment Charge Information

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The Illinois Department of Human Rights investigates charges of Employment discrimination filed against private employers, state or local government, unions and employment agencies. Individuals can also be charged in some cases.

For the Department to investigate, the employer charged with discrimination must have at least 1 or more employees in the State of Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year of or preceding the alleged violation, unless:

  • The charge alleges sexual harassment, pregnancy, retaliation or physical or mental disability discrimination. (Only 1 employee is needed for these cases).
  • The employer is a public contractor. (A public contractor is an employer who does business with the State of Illinois or a unit of local government.)
  • The employer is a unit of State government.

Prohibited Employment Actions

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in a variety of Employment actions, for example:

  • Employers: In unequal terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, selection, promotion, transfer, pay, tenure, discharge, and discipline.
  • Employment Agencies: To fail or refuse to register or refer for apprenticeship and employment opportunities.
  • Labor Organization: To limit or segregate in membership, or in the terms and conditions of employment or apprenticeship positions.

Types Of Discrimination Covered

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual Harassment
  • National Origin
  • Ancestry
  • Military Status
  • Age - (40 and over)
  • Order of Protection Status
  • Disability - (physical and mental)
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation - (including gender-related identity)
  • Unfavorable Military Discharge
  • Arrest Record - (or criminal history record ordered
    expunged, sealed or impounded)
  • Conviction Record (Read FAQ from IDHR on Conviction Record protection)
  • Citizenship Status - (born or naturalized U.S. citizen,
    U.S. national or documented immigrant)
  • Work Authorization Status
  • Language - (any language use not related to job duties)
  • Pregnancy - (including child birth, or related medical or common conditions)
  • Retaliation - (for opposing unlawful discrimination)
  • Coercion / Aiding and Abetting - (helping or forcing a person to commit unlawful discrimination)

Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical or common conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.

What The Department Cannot Do

  • The Department cannot investigate unfair employment actions such as: political affiliations, personality conflicts, etc., unless such actions are alleged to be for one or more of the reasons (types of discrimination) listed above.
  • The Department cannot investigate unfair union practices unless such claims involve one or more of the types of discrimination described above.
  • The Department cannot investigate charges against the federal government. Such a charge can only be filed with the EEO office of the agency alleged to have discriminated.

To File A Charge

Submit a completed Employment Complainant Information Sheet (CIS) either by email, mail, fax or in person. If your allegations are covered under the Illinois Human Rights Act, a charge will be drafted for your signature. A charge of Employment discrimination must be filed within 300 days of the alleged discrimination.  Download the CIS form using the button above.

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