Department of Human Rights
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
Totals may not add due to rounding.
The Department of Human Rights was created by the Human Rights Act. The Act prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, financial credit, public accommodations, and real estate transactions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, ancestry, age (40 and over), order of protection status, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation (including gender identity), pregnancy, or unfavorable discharge from military service. The Act also prohibits sexual harassment in education, discrimination in employment based upon citizenship status and arrest record, and discrimination based on familial status in real estate transactions. The Charge Processing Program investigates charges on unlawful discrimination and issues determinations on whether there is substantial evidence of discrimination. The Department offers mediation of non-housing charges through its human rights mediators prior to the full investigation to encourage a settlement between parties. The Department offers mediation to a limited number of housing charges through a pilot program. If resolution efforts are unsuccessful and the Department finds substantial evidence of discrimination after formal review by the Legal Division, complainants may proceed either before the Illinois Human Rights Commission or in state Circuit Court. If the Department finds a lack of substantial evidence of discrimination, the complainant may file a request for review of the finding with the Human Rights Commission, and the Legal Division will review the dismissal and file a formal response; as an alternative to filing a request for review, the complainant may commence a civil action in state Circuit Court.
The Act also requires every state executive office, state agency, board, commission, and instrumentality to rigorously address affirmative action and provide equality of opportunity in employment. The Compliance Program in the Legal Division enforces the Department's statutory authority to ensure state entities comply with equal employment opportunity and affirmative action requirements. The Compliance Program also enforces provisions of the Act and the Department's rules that require Illinois public contractors and eligible bidders to refrain from unlawful discrimination, undertake affirmative action in employment, and develop a written sexual harassment policy.
The Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes/Training Institute offers a wide range of training opportunities to private sector, government, and public participants related to the Illinois Human Rights Act and trends centered on issues of discrimination in the workplace.