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How the Process Works

The Illinois Human Rights Act created two separate agencies responsible for administering the Act: the Department of Human Rights and the Human Rights Commission.

The Department is the investigatory agency that accepts or initiates charges alleging violations of the Act and determines whether there is substantial evidence of a violation to warrant filing a complaint with the Commission.

A charge must be filed within 300 days (or one year for real estate transactions) after the alleged violation.  The Department must conclude all proceedings and make a finding within 365 days of the filing of a perfected charge unless the parties agree to an extension of that period in writing.

Please visit the Department's website for more information on how to file a charge.        

The Commission is the adjudicatory agency that holds hearings and issues decisions on complaints alleging violations of the Act.  The Commission also decides requests for review of the Department’s decision to dismiss a charge or hold a respondent in default.  We strive to provide professional, competent, and considerate service to everyone who seeks information from us or who has a case filed at the Commission.