Written by attorney James Richard Rowe II

Illinois Discrimination: Filing A Charge Under the Illinois Human Rights Act


James Rowe, Partner

The Law Firm of Rowe & Associates

If you believe you have been discriminated against, feel free to give me a call. My Firm’s passion is fighting for equality and justice, and preventing discrimination in all its forms.

If you feel you have been discriminated against in the State of Illinois, you can file a charge of discrimination with The Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR"), the state agency responsible for enforcing the Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act").

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status (with regard to employment), age (40 and over), marital status, familial status (with regard to housing), arrest record, physical and mental disability, military status, sexual orientation and unfavorable discharge from military service. These are considered protected classes.

It is also a civil rights violation to retaliate against someone because he/she files a charge of discrimination, or opposes discrimination, to aid, abet or coerce someone to discriminate, to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of their housing accommodation, or to interfere with the Department or Commission's duties.

IDHR’s jurisdiction covers the above listed protected classes in the following five areas:employment, real estate transactions, financial credit, public accommodations and sexual harassment in higher education.

Employment: The law protects persons from discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, selection, promotion, transfer, pay, tenure, discharge, and discipline.

Public Accommodations: It is unlawful to discriminate in the full and equal enjoyment of facilities and services by any place of public accommodation, such as a business, recreation, lodging, entertainment, or transportation facility that is open to the public.

Financial Credit: All financial institutions doing business in Illinois are prohibited from discriminating in the granting of mortgages, commercial or personal loans, and credit cards.

Sexual Harassment in Higher Education: The law prohibits unwelcome advances of a sexual nature or requests for sexual favors of students by an executive, faculty member, administrative staff member, or teaching assistant in an institution of higher education when such behavior interferes with the student’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Housing & Real Estate: It is unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental of residential or commercial property. A few examples of such discrimination are:

• Altering the terms, conditions or privileges of the transaction. • Refusing to receive or transmit a bona fide offer. • Refusing to negotiate. • Misrepresenting that property is not available for rental or sale.

If you believe you have been discriminated again, feel free to give me a call. My Firm’s passion is fighting for equality and justice, and preventing discrimination in all its forms.


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