Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

Illinois Human Rights Commission
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2021 FY 2020
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Adjudicate Complaints of Discrimination Under the Human Rights Act $ 2,554.4 25.0 $ 2,492.5 24.0
Totals $ 2,554.4 25.0 $ 2,492.5 24.0

Amounts may not sum to total due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

The Illinois Human Rights Commission (Commission) was created when the Illinois Human Rights Act (Act) was signed into law on December 6, 1979. The Act created two separate administrative agencies with distinct functions regarding enforcement of the Act: the Illinois Department of Human Rights (the “Department”) to investigate charges of discrimination, and the Illinois Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) to adjudicate complaints of civil rights violations, in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodations and financial credit.

The Commission is dedicated to promoting freedom from unlawful discrimination as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act. The Act forbids discrimination based on: Age (40+); Ancestry; Arrest Record; Citizenship Status (with regard to employment); Color; Conviction Record; Disability (physical and mental); Familial Status (with respect to real estate transactions); Gender Identity; Marital Status; Military Status; National Origin; Orders of Protection; Pregnancy; Race; Religion; Retaliation; Sex; Sexual Harassment; Sexual Orientation or Unfavorable Military Discharge. The Act further enumerates the powers and duties of the Commission.

Our primary responsibility is to make impartial determinations of whether there has been unlawful discrimination as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act.


The Illinois Human Rights Commission consists of seven members — a Chair and six Commissioners — who are all appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Illinois State Senate.


Commission staff includes an Executive Director who is appointed by the Governor, a General Counsel, a Deputy General Counsel, Assistant General Counsels, a Chief Administrative Law Judge, Administrative Law Judges, and administrative operations staff.


Funding for fiscal year 2021

In fiscal year 2021, the Illinois General Assembly appropriated a total of $3.1 million from the General Revenue Fund (GRF) to the Commission. Of this total, $2.1 million was allocated to the Commission for its own for contingent and operational needs.  The balance of $959,200 was appropriated for the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC), for which the Commission provides administrative support.  It is important to note that TIRC has its own Executive Director, staff and separate volunteer, appointed Board. Fiscal year 2021 operational and contingent expenditure totaled $1,957,251.

Fiscal year 2021 Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2021, the Commission received a total of 500 cases, including: 92 complainant-filed complaints, 106 Department of Human Rights-filed complaints, 293 requests for reviews, 2 defaults, and 7 settlements. The total number of cases closed/disposed of totaled 340, including: 7 administrative closures, 69 Final Orders and Decisions, 10 Department of Human Rights settlements, 226 requests for review, 3 Administrative Law Section settlements, 3 full Commission En Banc matters, and 22 notices of no exceptions. The Commission also received 1,318 electronic filings were made at the Commission, up from zero before the onset of the pandemic.  The Commission also replaced a more than 20-year-old, antiquated and rigid case management system with a modern, stable, and highly configurable case management platform.

Fiscal year 2022

During fiscal year 2022, HRC will continue to focus its resources on adjudicating charges of discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act.







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