How to File an Employment Discrimination Charge With The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)

Posted over 4 years ago. Applies to Illinois, 3 helpful votes



How to File a Charge

When filing a charge of employment discrimination with IDHR, you may do so on your own or with the help of representation, such as an attorney. If you have an attorney, he/or she will meet with you to discuss the details of your charge. If you decide to file the charge on your own, you will be asked to complete a Complainant Information Sheet that can be submitted in person or by mail. The Complainant Information Sheet is typically not considered a charge. After completing the Complainant Information Sheet, you must be interviewed by a member of the IDHR intake staff who will gather all necessary information and, if your allegations are covered by the Act, draft a charge for you to sign and have notarized. You must review, sign, notarize and return the charge to IDHR to perfect your charge.


Who Can File a Charge of Employment Discrimination With IDHR?

Any individual who is employed by an organization with 15 or more employees, (or one or more employees for discrimination based on physical or mental handicap unrelated to ability) who believes that he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination in connection with his/her employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, or unfavorable discharge from military service. If you are proceeding on your own, you should read the Act or check with IDHR to ensure that you are a covered employee under the Act.


What Must be Included in the Charge of Employment Discrimination?

You must provide your full name, mailing address and phone number or information for a contact person; the name, address and phone number of the employer, employment agency or union about which you are complaining; the most recent date of the alleged discrimination; a detailed description of the discrimination; the names and contact information of witnesses; and copies of all relevant documents.


What are the Time Limitations for Filing a Charge of Employment Discrimination?

To preserve your rights under the Act, your charge must be filed within 180 days from the most recent date of the alleged discrimination. If you think you are being subjected to discrimination, contact IDHR and/or an employment attorney as soon as possible to avoid the inadvertent expiration of your claim(s).

Additional Resources

Illinois Department of Human Rights

Illinois Human Rights Act

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