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Frequently Asked Questions

IDHR Charge Filing Process

1. How can I contact IDHR?

Complete the online 'Contact IDHR' form to have your inquiry immediately directed to the appropriate division for response.

You can alsdo contact IDHR by phone, email, or by visiting one of our office locations in Chicago or Springfield. Find all means of contacting IDHR on our site, here.

2. What is the deadline to file a charge of discrimination?

A charge should be filed with IDHR as soon as possible after the discrimination occurs, but no later than 300 days after the date the discrimination took place.  A housing discrimination charge must be filed within one year of the alleged harm.

3. How do I file a charge with IDHR?

A person who believes (s)he was treated differently than others or was otherwise discriminated against based on protected class in one of the five areas may file a charge of discrimination with IDHR by submitting a completed Complainant Information Sheet (CIS):

  • In person at IDHR's offices in either Chicago or Springifeld;
  • By mail to IDHR at either its Chicago or Springfield addresses; or
  • By email to IDHR.

Walk-in interviews are offered at IDHR's offices in Chicago and Springfield on Monday through Thursday beginning at 8:30 AM.  An appointment is not necessary.  Interviews are conducted on a "first-come, first-served" basis.

Before the interview, potential complainants will be asked to fill out a Complainant Information Sheet (CIS).  CIS forms are available at IDHR's offices, but your visit will go faster if you print and bring with you a completed CIS.

During the interview, IDHR staff will discuss the various types of discrimination and explain the procedures for filing a charge.  IDHR staff will then determine if the allegations are covered by the "Act".  If appropriate, the Intake investigator will draft a Charge of Discrimination.  To ensure the integrity of the process, all complainants are required to review the draft charge document before signing.  For non-housing charges, IDHR staff will notarize the charge on site if a picture ID is provided.

If IDHR does not have jurisdiction over a person's concerns, IDHR staff may provide referrals to other agencies where appropriate.

4. Does it cost any money to file my charge of discrimination with IDHR?

No.  IDHR processes charges of discrimination without any fees to the complainant.

5. Is an attorney necessary to file and process a charge?

An attorney is not required to process a charge of discrimination with IDHR.  However, an attorney may represent a person or party at any stage of the process.  IDHR does not refer complainants to attorneys in private practice, but does maintain lists of legal aid associations and other organizations that represent complainants in employment or housing cases.

If a fact-finding conference is held, either party may bring legal counsel if the attorney has entered a "Notice of Appearance".

6. Where are IDHR's offices located and what are the office hours?

IDHR has offices in Chicago and Springfield.  Office hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.  Intake interviews are conducted Monday through Thursday in Chicago and Springfield only.  At this time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IDHR is not open to guests or visitors.  To seek assistance, information, or support in filing a charge, please contact IDHR directly.

If you would like to file a charge with IDHR, you can best provide information and help facilitate IDHR response and any potential, subsequent interview by directly submitting a Complainant Information Sheet form, found here.  


Chicago Office                                                Springfield Office                

555 West Monroe, Suite 700 (7th Floor)             524 S 2nd Street, Suite 300 (Third Floor)
Intake Unit                                                         Intake Unit
Chicago, IL 60661                                              Springfield, IL 62701                                

(312) 814-6200                                                 (217) 785-5100
(866) 740-3953 (TTY)                                       (866) 740-3953 (TTY)
                                                                          (217) 785-5106 (FAX)

(312) 814-1436
(FAX - Administration)


(312) 814-6251
(FAX - Charge Processing)

7. What information should be provided to IDHR when a charge is filed?

The following detailed information must be provided to IDHR: 

  • The full name, mailing address and a phone number (and alternate contact information) for the person filing a charge;
  • Accurate and complete information  -  including name(s), address(es) and telephone number(s) - of the individuals(s) or organization that is charged with the discrimination;
  • The most recent date of the alleged discrimination;
  • Names and contact information for any witnesses; and
  • Copies of any relevant documents.

8. Whom can a charge of discrimination be filed against?

  • In an employment situation, a charge can be filed against an employer, labor organization, or employment agency.  For sexual harassment in employment, a charge can be filed against the individual harasses and/or the employer.
  • In a real estate (housing) transaction, a charge may be filed against any person or organization responsible for the discriminatory action, including a rental agent, landlord, management company, apartment manager, real estate broker or agency, seller, owner, real estate developer, condominium/town house association, trailer park owner or manager, mortgage broker, bank, and newspaper or other media.
  • In a financial credit transaction, a charge may be filed against a mortgage broker, credit union, bank, trust, savings and loan association, insurance company, and any type of lending institution involved in the discriminatory incident and operating in Illinois.
  • If discrimination occurred in a place of public accommodation, a charge may be filed against the person(s) responsible and/or manager/owner of the facility (eating and drinking places, golf course, fitness center, etc.) who are responsible for the discriminatory incident.
  • If a person is denied a service by a public official operating at a public government facility (municipality, country, police or fire department, etc.), a charge may be filed against the individual officer or the agency.  Educational institutions and programs are considered places of public accommodation for enrollment, harassment, or access to facilities, goods or services.
  • A Charge alleging sexual harassment in education may be filed against an executive, faculty member, administrative staff member, or teaching assistant in a public or private educational institution when such behavior interferes with the student's performance, creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, or is a term or condition of academic or extracurricular opportunities.

9. Can a charge be changed after it is filed?

If timely, a complainant may request to amend the charge to make a correction, add new allegations, and/or add/delete parties (persons or organizations) involved.  At IDHR's discretion, new allegations may be placed into a new charge rather than an amendment.

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