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HUMAN RIGHTS
(775 ILCS 5/) Illinois Human Rights Act.

775 ILCS 5/Art. 7A

 
    (775 ILCS 5/Art. 7A heading)
ARTICLE 7A. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS;
PROCEDURES UNDER ARTICLES 2, 4, 5, 5A and 6

775 ILCS 5/7A-101

    (775 ILCS 5/7A-101) (from Ch. 68, par. 7A-101)
    Sec. 7A-101. The procedures specified in this Article shall apply solely to Articles 2, 4, 5, 5A and 6.
(Source: P.A. 86-910.)

775 ILCS 5/7A-102

    (775 ILCS 5/7A-102) (from Ch. 68, par. 7A-102)
    Sec. 7A-102. Procedures.
    (A) Charge.
        (1) Within 180 days after the date that a civil
    
rights violation allegedly has been committed, a charge in writing under oath or affirmation may be filed with the Department by an aggrieved party or issued by the Department itself under the signature of the Director.
        (2) The charge shall be in such detail as to
    
substantially apprise any party properly concerned as to the time, place, and facts surrounding the alleged civil rights violation.
        (3) Charges deemed filed with the Department pursuant
    
to subsection (A-1) of this Section shall be deemed to be in compliance with this subsection.
    (A-1) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charges.
        (1) If a charge is filed with the Equal Employment
    
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days after the date of the alleged civil rights violation, the charge shall be deemed filed with the Department on the date filed with the EEOC. If the EEOC is the governmental agency designated to investigate the charge first, the Department shall take no action until the EEOC makes a determination on the charge and after the complainant notifies the Department of the EEOC's determination. In such cases, after receiving notice from the EEOC that a charge was filed, the Department shall notify the parties that (i) a charge has been received by the EEOC and has been sent to the Department for dual filing purposes; (ii) the EEOC is the governmental agency responsible for investigating the charge and that the investigation shall be conducted pursuant to the rules and procedures adopted by the EEOC; (iii) it will take no action on the charge until the EEOC issues its determination; (iv) the complainant must submit a copy of the EEOC's determination within 30 days after service of the determination by the EEOC on complainant; and (v) that the time period to investigate the charge contained in subsection (G) of this Section is tolled from the date on which the charge is filed with the EEOC until the EEOC issues its determination.
        (2) If the EEOC finds reasonable cause to believe
    
that there has been a violation of federal law and if the Department is timely notified of the EEOC's findings by complainant, the Department shall notify complainant that the Department has adopted the EEOC's determination of reasonable cause and that complainant has the right, within 90 days after receipt of the Department's notice, to either file his or her own complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court or other appropriate court of competent jurisdiction. The Department's notice to complainant that the Department has adopted the EEOC's determination of reasonable cause shall constitute the Department's Report for purposes of subparagraph (D) of this Section.
        (3) For those charges alleging violations within the
    
jurisdiction of both the EEOC and the Department and for which the EEOC either (i) does not issue a determination, but does issue the complainant a notice of a right to sue, including when the right to sue is issued at the request of the complainant, or (ii) determines that it is unable to establish that illegal discrimination has occurred and issues the complainant a right to sue notice, and if the Department is timely notified of the EEOC's determination by complainant, the Department shall notify the parties that the Department will adopt the EEOC's determination as a dismissal for lack of substantial evidence unless the complainant requests in writing within 35 days after receipt of the Department's notice that the Department review the EEOC's determination.
            (a) If the complainant does not file a written
        
request with the Department to review the EEOC's determination within 35 days after receipt of the Department's notice, the Department shall notify complainant that the decision of the EEOC has been adopted by the Department as a dismissal for lack of substantial evidence and that the complainant has the right, within 90 days after receipt of the Department's notice, to commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court or other appropriate court of competent jurisdiction. The Department's notice to complainant that the Department has adopted the EEOC's determination shall constitute the Department's report for purposes of subparagraph (D) of this Section.
            (b) If the complainant does file a written
        
request with the Department to review the EEOC's determination, the Department shall review the EEOC's determination and any evidence obtained by the EEOC during its investigation. If, after reviewing the EEOC's determination and any evidence obtained by the EEOC, the Department determines there is no need for further investigation of the charge, the Department shall issue a report and the Director shall determine whether there is substantial evidence that the alleged civil rights violation has been committed pursuant to subsection (D) of Section 7A-102. If, after reviewing the EEOC's determination and any evidence obtained by the EEOC, the Department determines there is a need for further investigation of the charge, the Department may conduct any further investigation it deems necessary. After reviewing the EEOC's determination, the evidence obtained by the EEOC, and any additional investigation conducted by the Department, the Department shall issue a report and the Director shall determine whether there is substantial evidence that the alleged civil rights violation has been committed pursuant to subsection (D) of Section 7A-102 of this Act.
        (4) Pursuant to this Section, if the EEOC dismisses
    
the charge or a portion of the charge of discrimination because, under federal law, the EEOC lacks jurisdiction over the charge, and if, under this Act, the Department has jurisdiction over the charge of discrimination, the Department shall investigate the charge or portion of the charge dismissed by the EEOC for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to subsections (A), (A-1), (B), (B-1), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), (I), (J), and (K) of Section 7A-102 of this Act.
        (5) The time limit set out in subsection (G) of this
    
Section is tolled from the date on which the charge is filed with the EEOC to the date on which the EEOC issues its determination.
    (B) Notice and Response to Charge. The Department shall, within 10 days of the date on which the charge was filed, serve a copy of the charge on the respondent. This period shall not be construed to be jurisdictional. The charging party and the respondent may each file a position statement and other materials with the Department regarding the charge of alleged discrimination within 60 days of receipt of the notice of the charge. The position statements and other materials filed shall remain confidential unless otherwise agreed to by the party providing the information and shall not be served on or made available to the other party during pendency of a charge with the Department. The Department may require the respondent to file a response to the allegations contained in the charge. Upon the Department's request, the respondent shall file a response to the charge within 60 days and shall serve a copy of its response on the complainant or his or her representative. Notwithstanding any request from the Department, the respondent may elect to file a response to the charge within 60 days of receipt of notice of the charge, provided the respondent serves a copy of its response on the complainant or his or her representative. All allegations contained in the charge not denied by the respondent within 60 days of the Department's request for a response may be deemed admitted, unless the respondent states that it is without sufficient information to form a belief with respect to such allegation. The Department may issue a notice of default directed to any respondent who fails to file a response to a charge within 60 days of receipt of the Department's request, unless the respondent can demonstrate good cause as to why such notice should not issue. The term "good cause" shall be defined by rule promulgated by the Department. Within 30 days of receipt of the respondent's response, the complainant may file a reply to said response and shall serve a copy of said reply on the respondent or his or her representative. A party shall have the right to supplement his or her response or reply at any time that the investigation of the charge is pending. The Department shall, within 10 days of the date on which the charge was filed, and again no later than 335 days thereafter, send by certified or registered mail written notice to the complainant and to the respondent informing the complainant of the complainant's right to either file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court under subparagraph (2) of paragraph (G), including in such notice the dates within which the complainant may exercise this right. In the notice the Department shall notify the complainant that the charge of civil rights violation will be dismissed with prejudice and with no right to further proceed if a written complaint is not timely filed with the Commission or with the appropriate circuit court by the complainant pursuant to subparagraph (2) of paragraph (G) or by the Department pursuant to subparagraph (1) of paragraph (G).
    (B-1) Mediation. The complainant and respondent may agree to voluntarily submit the charge to mediation without waiving any rights that are otherwise available to either party pursuant to this Act and without incurring any obligation to accept the result of the mediation process. Nothing occurring in mediation shall be disclosed by the Department or admissible in evidence in any subsequent proceeding unless the complainant and the respondent agree in writing that such disclosure be made.
    (C) Investigation.
        (1) The Department shall conduct an investigation
    
sufficient to determine whether the allegations set forth in the charge are supported by substantial evidence.
        (2) The Director or his or her designated
    
representatives shall have authority to request any member of the Commission to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of a witness or the production for examination of any books, records or documents whatsoever.
        (3) If any witness whose testimony is required for
    
any investigation resides outside the State, or through illness or any other good cause as determined by the Director is unable to be interviewed by the investigator or appear at a fact finding conference, his or her testimony or deposition may be taken, within or without the State, in the same manner as is provided for in the taking of depositions in civil cases in circuit courts.
        (4) Upon reasonable notice to the complainant and the
    
respondent, the Department shall conduct a fact finding conference, unless prior to 365 days after the date on which the charge was filed the Director has determined whether there is substantial evidence that the alleged civil rights violation has been committed, the charge has been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, or the parties voluntarily and in writing agree to waive the fact finding conference. Any party's failure to attend the conference without good cause shall result in dismissal or default. The term "good cause" shall be defined by rule promulgated by the Department. A notice of dismissal or default shall be issued by the Director. The notice of default issued by the Director shall notify the respondent that a request for review may be filed in writing with the Commission within 30 days of receipt of notice of default. The notice of dismissal issued by the Director shall give the complainant notice of his or her right to seek review of the dismissal before the Human Rights Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court. If the complainant chooses to have the Human Rights Commission review the dismissal order, he or she shall file a request for review with the Commission within 90 days after receipt of the Director's notice. If the complainant chooses to file a request for review with the Commission, he or she may not later commence a civil action in a circuit court. If the complainant chooses to commence a civil action in a circuit court, he or she must do so within 90 days after receipt of the Director's notice.
    (D) Report.
        (1) Each charge shall be the subject of a report to
    
the Director. The report shall be a confidential document subject to review by the Director, authorized Department employees, the parties, and, where indicated by this Act, members of the Commission or their designated hearing officers.
        (2) Upon review of the report, the Director shall
    
determine whether there is substantial evidence that the alleged civil rights violation has been committed. The determination of substantial evidence is limited to determining the need for further consideration of the charge pursuant to this Act and includes, but is not limited to, findings of fact and conclusions, as well as the reasons for the determinations on all material issues. Substantial evidence is evidence which a reasonable mind accepts as sufficient to support a particular conclusion and which consists of more than a mere scintilla but may be somewhat less than a preponderance.
        (3) If the Director determines that there is no
    
substantial evidence, the charge shall be dismissed by order of the Director and the Director shall give the complainant notice of his or her right to seek review of the dismissal order before the Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court. If the complainant chooses to have the Human Rights Commission review the dismissal order, he or she shall file a request for review with the Commission within 90 days after receipt of the Director's notice. If the complainant chooses to file a request for review with the Commission, he or she may not later commence a civil action in a circuit court. If the complainant chooses to commence a civil action in a circuit court, he or she must do so within 90 days after receipt of the Director's notice.
        (4) If the Director determines that there is
    
substantial evidence, he or she shall notify the complainant and respondent of that determination. The Director shall also notify the parties that the complainant has the right to either commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court or request that the Department of Human Rights file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on his or her behalf. Any such complaint shall be filed within 90 days after receipt of the Director's notice. If the complainant chooses to have the Department file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on his or her behalf, the complainant must, within 30 days after receipt of the Director's notice, request in writing that the Department file the complaint. If the complainant timely requests that the Department file the complaint, the Department shall file the complaint on his or her behalf. If the complainant fails to timely request that the Department file the complaint, the complainant may file his or her complaint with the Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court. If the complainant files a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, the complainant shall give notice to the Department of the filing of the complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
    (E) Conciliation.
         (1) When there is a finding of substantial evidence,
    
the Department may designate a Department employee who is an attorney licensed to practice in Illinois to endeavor to eliminate the effect of the alleged civil rights violation and to prevent its repetition by means of conference and conciliation.
        (2) When the Department determines that a formal
    
conciliation conference is necessary, the complainant and respondent shall be notified of the time and place of the conference by registered or certified mail at least 10 days prior thereto and either or both parties shall appear at the conference in person or by attorney.
        (3) The place fixed for the conference shall be
    
within 35 miles of the place where the civil rights violation is alleged to have been committed.
        (4) Nothing occurring at the conference shall be
    
disclosed by the Department unless the complainant and respondent agree in writing that such disclosure be made.
        (5) The Department's efforts to conciliate the matter
    
shall not stay or extend the time for filing the complaint with the Commission or the circuit court.
    (F) Complaint.
        (1) When the complainant requests that the Department
    
file a complaint with the Commission on his or her behalf, the Department shall prepare a written complaint, under oath or affirmation, stating the nature of the civil rights violation substantially as alleged in the charge previously filed and the relief sought on behalf of the aggrieved party. The Department shall file the complaint with the Commission.
        (2) If the complainant chooses to commence a civil
    
action in a circuit court, he or she must do so in the circuit court in the county wherein the civil rights violation was allegedly committed. The form of the complaint in any such civil action shall be in accordance with the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure.
    (G) Time Limit.
        (1) When a charge of a civil rights violation has
    
been properly filed, the Department, within 365 days thereof or within any extension of that period agreed to in writing by all parties, shall issue its report as required by subparagraph (D). Any such report shall be duly served upon both the complainant and the respondent.
        (2) If the Department has not issued its report
    
within 365 days after the charge is filed, or any such longer period agreed to in writing by all the parties, the complainant shall have 90 days to either file his or her own complaint with the Human Rights Commission or commence a civil action in the appropriate circuit court. If the complainant files a complaint with the Commission, the form of the complaint shall be in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (F)(1). If the complainant commences a civil action in a circuit court, the form of the complaint shall be in accordance with the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure. The aggrieved party shall notify the Department that a complaint has been filed and shall serve a copy of the complaint on the Department on the same date that the complaint is filed with the Commission or in circuit court. If the complainant files a complaint with the Commission, he or she may not later commence a civil action in circuit court.
        (3) If an aggrieved party files a complaint with the
    
Human Rights Commission or commences a civil action in circuit court pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, or if the time period for filing a complaint has expired, the Department shall immediately cease its investigation and dismiss the charge of civil rights violation. Any final order entered by the Commission under this Section is appealable in accordance with paragraph (B)(1) of Section 8-111. Failure to immediately cease an investigation and dismiss the charge of civil rights violation as provided in this paragraph (3) constitutes grounds for entry of an order by the circuit court permanently enjoining the investigation. The Department may also be liable for any costs and other damages incurred by the respondent as a result of the action of the Department.
        (4) The Department shall stay any administrative
    
proceedings under this Section after the filing of a civil action by or on behalf of the aggrieved party under any federal or State law seeking relief with respect to the alleged civil rights violation.
    (H) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to causes of action filed on or after January 1, 1996.
    (I) This amendatory Act of 1996 applies to causes of action filed on or after January 1, 1996.
    (J) The changes made to this Section by Public Act 95-243 apply to charges filed on or after the effective date of those changes.
    (K) The changes made to this Section by this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly apply to charges filed on or after the effective date of those changes.
(Source: P.A. 100-492, eff. 9-8-17.)

775 ILCS 5/7A-103

    (775 ILCS 5/7A-103) (from Ch. 68, par. 7A-103)
    Sec. 7A-103. Settlement.
    (A) Circumstances. A settlement of any charge prior to the filing of a complaint may be effectuated at any time upon agreement of the parties and the approval of the Department. A settlement of any charge after the filing of a complaint shall be effectuated as specified in Section 8-105(A)(2) of this Act.
    (B) Form. Settlements of charges prior to the filing of complaints shall be reduced to writing by the Department, signed by the parties, and submitted by the Department to the Commission for approval. Settlements of charges after the filing of complaints shall be effectuated as specified in Section 8-105(A)(2) of this Act.
    (C) Violation.
        (1) When either party alleges that a settlement order
    
has been violated, the Department shall conduct an investigation into the matter.
        (2) Upon finding substantial evidence to demonstrate
    
that a settlement has been violated, the Department shall file notice of a settlement order violation with the Commission and serve all parties.
    (D) Dismissal For Refusal To Accept Settlement Offer. The Department shall dismiss a charge if it is satisfied that:
        (1) the respondent has eliminated the effects of the
    
civil rights violation charged and taken steps to prevent its repetition; or
        (2) the respondent offers and the complainant
    
declines to accept terms of settlement which the Department finds are sufficient to eliminate the effects of the civil rights violation charged and prevent its repetition.
     When the Department dismisses a charge under this Section it shall notify the complainant that he or she may seek review of the dismissal order before the Commission. The complainant shall have 30 days from receipt of notice to file a request for review by the Commission.
     In determining whether the respondent has eliminated the effects of the civil rights violation charged, or has offered terms of settlement sufficient to eliminate same, the Department shall consider the extent to which the respondent has either fully provided, or reasonably offered by way of terms of settlement, as the case may be, the relevant relief available to the complainant under Section 8-108 of this Act.
    (E) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to causes of action filed on or after January 1, 1996.
    (F) The changes made to this Section by this amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly apply to charges filed on or after the effective date of those changes.
(Source: P.A. 95-243, eff. 1-1-08.)

775 ILCS 5/7A-104

    (775 ILCS 5/7A-104) (from Ch. 68, par. 7A-104)
    Sec. 7A-104. Judicial Proceedings. (A) Temporary Relief. (1) At any time after a charge is filed, the Department or complainant may petition the appropriate court for temporary relief, pending final determination of the proceedings under this Act, including an order or judgment restraining the respondent from doing or causing any act which would render ineffectual an order which the Commission may enter with respect to the complainant. Whether it is brought by the Department or by the complainant, the petition shall contain a certification by the Director that the particular matter presents exceptional circumstances in which irreparable injury will result from a civil rights violation in the absence of temporary relief.
    (2) The petition shall be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the respondent resides or transacts business or in which the alleged violation took place, and the proceedings shall be governed by Part I of Article XI of the "Code of Civil Procedure", as amended. Except as provided in subsection (A) (3), the court may grant temporary relief or a temporary restraining order as it deems just and proper.
    (3) When the petition is based upon a civil rights violation as defined in Article 3 of this Act, the relief or restraining order entered by the court shall not exceed 5 days unless:
    (a) A longer period is agreed to by the respondent; or
    (b) The court finds that there is substantial evidence to demonstrate that the respondent has engaged in unlawful discrimination.
    (B) Expedited Proceedings. (1) A complainant or the Department at the request of the complainant may at any time petition the circuit court for expedited proceedings. Except as to causes the circuit court considers to be of greater importance, consideration of petitions for expedited proceedings under this subsection shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and be assigned for hearing at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way.
    (2) Venue for a petition filed under this subsection shall lie in the county where the respondent resides or is found or where the alleged violation was committed.
    (3) Any petition filed by the complainant shall name the Department, Commission and the respondent. Any petition filed by the Department, upon request of the complainant, shall name the Commission and the respondent.
    (4) If the circuit court determines that the complainant is likely to die before the termination of the proceedings under this Act, it may order the proceedings expedited. When an order for expedited proceedings is issued, the processing of the complainant's charge by the Department and Commission shall take precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character. Where such order is issued, the Department, the Commission, any panel of the Commission, or any Commission hearing officer shall be authorized to shorten any time period, other than the 180 day charge filing period set by this Act or by rule. If such an order is issued and the complainant is before the Department, the Department shall immediately appoint an investigator if an investigator has not been appointed and shall in 90 days either file a complaint or order that no complaint be issued. If the Department fails to make a determination within 90 days the complainant shall have 30 days to file his complaint with the Commission.
    (C) Enforcement of Commission Orders. When authorized by this Act, the Department, at the request of the Commission, may take whatever action may be authorized for the enforcement of Commission orders.
(Source: P.A. 86-910; 86-1028.)