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Definitions of Terms Commonly Used in Commission Proceedings

Term Definition
Administrative Law Judge
This is the initial allegation of discrimination. It must be filed with the Department of Human Rights ("DHR") within 300 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory event. A charge is often confused with a "complaint," which is the document which starts proceedings at the Human Rights Commission ("HRC") level.
EEOC The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This is the agency which enforces Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other federal anti-discrimination laws.
FOD A Final Order and Decision
HRA The Human Rights Act
HRC The Human Rights Commission
Lack of Substantial Evidence (See Substantial Evidence) If the DHR finds after an investigation that the substantial evidence standard has not been met, it will dismiss the charge without a hearing based on a "lack of substantial evidence."
LSE See Lack of Substantial Evidence
O&D Order and Decision
Order and Decision This is the final decision of a three-member panel of the HRC on the merits of a case.
Petition for Rehearing Most of the work of the HRC is done by three-member panels. If a party is dissatisfied with the O&D of a three-member panel, the party may file a "petition for rehearing." When there is a rehearing, all seven Commissioners listen to arguments on legal issues. They do not retry the case. Although a dissatisfied party may petition for rehearing by the full Commission, there is no right to rehearing. Rehearing is rarely granted.
Petition for Review This is a document which starts an appeal to the Appellate Court. It should not be confused with a "Request for Review" or a "Petition for Rehearing."
Recommended Liability Determination This is the title of an order containing the liability recommendation of the ALJ which supports the complaint or portions thereof and/or which determines that a party is entitled to an award of attorneys fees and costs and directs that party to file a petition for such an award. This order is subsequently incorporated into the final Recommended Order and Decision entered in the case by the ALJ. This type of order was formerly called an Interim Order and Decision or "IROD."
RLD See Recommended Liability Determination
Recommended Order and Decision This is the title of the recommendation of the ALJ to the HRC as to how the case should be decided. The findings of fact of the ALJ must be given substantial deference by the HRC, but the legal conclusions of the ALJ are merely advisory.
Request for Review After the DHR has dismissed a Charge, or issued a notice of default against Respondent, the losing party has 30 days to request a review of the decision. The HRC looks at the request for review, the investigation report, and the DHR response to the request for review. The decision of the HRC is usually based upon the written materials presented by the interested party. However, on occasion, the HRC may hear oral argument or remand the matter for a hearing before an ALJ if a factual determination on a specific issue is necessary for the disposition of the request for review. The HRC decides whether the dismissal or notice of default was properly entered.
ROD See Recommended Order and Decision
SE See Substantial Evidence
Substantial Evidence Enough evidence of discrimination so that a reasonable person might infer a discriminatory motive. This is the standard used by the DHR to decide whether a Charge should be dismissed without a hearing before the HRC.