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Process Overview

One Act-Two Agencies

The Separate Roles of the Commission and the Department

The Illinois Human Rights Act empowers two entities, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission, to play coordinated but separate roles related to the Act:


Human Rights Department

  • Filing of Charges
  • Mediation
  • Investigation
  • Findings and Results
  • Legal Review

Human Rights Commission

  • Independent Review of Department Findings
  • Adjudication of Complaints
  • Appeals of Decisions


Human Rights Department

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Department of Human Rights Process

  1. Intake of information
  2. Mediation (Optional)
  3. Investigation
  4. Finding & Results
  5. Legal Review

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Human RIghts Commission Process

Hearing Process

  1. The Department sends a complaint to the Commission
  2. A Commission Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presides over the hearing
  3. HRC ALJ renders a decision
  4. If Exceptions are filed:
    1. Panel of 3 Commissioners reviews exceptions
    2. The Panel of Commissioners may resend to the ALJ to modify the decision, or
    3. The Panel of Commissioners may sustain the ALJ's decision
      1. Then, either party may appeal the decision by filing with the IL Appellate Court

Request for Review Process

  1. The Department dismisses the charge of discrimination
  2. The Complainant files a Request for review with the HRC
  3. Panel of 3 HRC Commissioners reviews the Department's dismissal
  4. The Panel of Commissioners may reverse or sustain the Department's dismissal
    1. If the HRC sustains the dismissal, Complainant may appeal dismissal by filing with the IL Appellate Court
    2. If the HRC reverses the dismissal, Complainant may file a complaint at the HRC.

​Requests for Reasonable Accommodations: Services at the Illinois Human Rights Commission are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities in compliance with the Illinois Human Rights Act. A person with a disability needing an accommodation to participate in any Commission activities should contact the Commission Disability Access Coordinator at 312-814-6269 or (TTY) 866-832-2298 or at The Commission requires five (5) business days to review any reasonable accommodation.