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Public Act 097-0022


 

Public Act 0022 97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 097-0022
 
HB0178 EnrolledLRB097 02687 AJO 42706 b

    AN ACT concerning human rights.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Illinois Human Rights Act is amended by
changing Sections 7A-102 and 7B-102 as follows:
 
    (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.
    (A-1) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charges. A
charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
within 180 days after the date of the alleged civil rights
violation shall be deemed filed with the Department on the date
filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Upon
receipt of a charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, the Department shall notify the complainant that he
or she may proceed with the Department. The complainant must
notify the Department of his or her decision in writing within
35 days of receipt of the Department's notice to the
complainant and the Department shall close the case if the
complainant does not do so. If the complainant proceeds with
the Department, the Department shall take no action until the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes a determination
on the charge. Upon receipt of the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission's determination, the Department shall cause the
charge to be filed under oath or affirmation and to be in such
detail as provided for under subparagraph (2) of paragraph (A).
At the Department's discretion, the Department shall either
adopt the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's
determination or process the charge pursuant to this Act.
Adoption of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's
determination shall be deemed a determination by the Department
for all purposes under this Act.
    (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 shall require the respondent to
file a verified response to the allegations contained in the
charge within 60 days of receipt of the notice of the charge.
The respondent shall serve a copy of its response on the
complainant or his representative. All allegations contained
in the charge not timely denied by the respondent shall 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 verified
response to a charge within 60 days of receipt of the notice of
the charge, 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 representative. A
party shall have the right to supplement his 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) After the respondent has been notified, the
    Department shall conduct a full investigation of the
    allegations set forth in the charge.
        (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, unless the Director has
    determined whether there is substantial evidence that the
    alleged civil rights violation has been committed, or the
    charge has been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, or the
    parties voluntarily and in writing agree to waive the fact
    finding conference. If the parties agree in writing, the
    fact finding conference may be held at a time after the 365
    day limit. 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. 95-243, eff. 1-1-08; 96-876, eff. 2-2-10.)
 
    (775 ILCS 5/7B-102)  (from Ch. 68, par. 7B-102)
    Sec. 7B-102. Procedures.
    (A) Charge.
        (1) Within one year after the date that a civil rights
    violation allegedly has been committed or terminated, 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.
    (B) Notice and Response to Charge.
        (1) The Department shall serve notice upon the
    aggrieved party acknowledging such charge and advising the
    aggrieved party of the time limits and choice of forums
    provided under this Act. The Department shall, within 10
    days of the date on which the charge was filed or the
    identification of an additional respondent under paragraph
    (2) of this subsection, serve on the respondent a copy of
    the charge along with a notice identifying the alleged
    civil rights violation and advising the respondent of the
    procedural rights and obligations of respondents under
    this Act and shall require the respondent to file a
    verified response to the allegations contained in the
    charge within 30 days. The respondent shall serve a copy of
    its response on the complainant or his representative. All
    allegations contained in the charge not timely denied by
    the respondent shall 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 verified
    response to a charge within 30 days of the date on which
    the charge was filed, 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 10 days of the date he receives the
    respondent's response, the complainant may file his reply
    to said response. If he chooses to file a reply, the
    complainant shall serve a copy of said reply on the
    respondent or his representative. A party shall have the
    right to supplement his response or reply at any time that
    the investigation of the charge is pending.
        (2) A person who is not named as a respondent in a
    charge, but who is identified as a respondent in the course
    of investigation, may be joined as an additional or
    substitute respondent upon written notice, under
    subsection (B), to such person, from the Department. Such
    notice, in addition to meeting the requirements of
    subsections (A) and (B), shall explain the basis for the
    Department's belief that a person to whom the notice is
    addressed is properly joined as a respondent.
    (C) Investigation.
        (1) The Department shall conduct a full investigation
    of the allegations set forth in the charge and complete
    such investigation within 100 days after the filing of the
    charge, unless it is impracticable to do so. The
    Department's failure to complete the investigation within
    100 days after the proper filing of the charge does not
    deprive the Department of jurisdiction over the charge.
        (2) If the Department is unable to complete the
    investigation within 100 days after the charge is filed,
    the Department shall notify the complainant and respondent
    in writing of the reasons for not doing so.
        (3) The Director or his or her designated
    representative 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.
        (4) 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 provided for in the taking of
    depositions in civil cases in circuit courts.
        (5) Upon reasonable notice to the complainant and the
    respondent, the Department shall conduct a fact finding
    conference, unless prior to 100 days from 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 or the parties voluntarily and
    in writing agree to waive the fact finding conference. A
    party's failure to attend the conference without good cause
    may result in dismissal or default. A notice of dismissal
    or default shall be issued by the Director and shall notify
    the relevant party that a request for review may be filed
    in writing with the Commission within 30 days of receipt of
    notice of dismissal or default.
    (D) Report.
        (1) Each investigated 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.
            The report shall contain:
            (a) the names and dates of contacts with witnesses;
            (b) a summary and the date of correspondence and
        other contacts with the aggrieved party and the
        respondent;
            (c) a summary description of other pertinent
        records;
            (d) a summary of witness statements; and
            (e) answers to questionnaires.
        A final report under this paragraph may be amended if
    additional evidence is later discovered.
        (2) Upon review of the report and within 100 days of
    the filing of the charge, unless it is impracticable to do
    so, the Director shall determine whether there is
    substantial evidence that the alleged civil rights
    violation has been committed or is about to be committed.
    If the Director is unable to make the determination within
    100 days after the filing of the charge, the Director shall
    notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the
    reasons for not doing so. The Director's failure to make
    the determination within 100 days after the proper filing
    of the charge does not deprive the Department of
    jurisdiction over the charge.
            (a) If the Director determines that there is no
        substantial evidence, the charge shall be dismissed
        and the aggrieved party notified that he or she may
        seek review of the dismissal order before the
        Commission. The aggrieved party shall have 90 days from
        receipt of notice to file a request for review by the
        Commission. The Director shall make public disclosure
        of each such dismissal.
            (b) If the Director determines that there is
        substantial evidence, he or she shall immediately
        issue a complaint on behalf of the aggrieved party
        pursuant to subsection (F).
    (E) Conciliation.
        (1) During the period beginning with the filing of
    charge and ending with the filing of a complaint or a
    dismissal by the Department, the Department shall, to the
    extent feasible, engage in conciliation with respect to
    such charge.
        When the Department determines that a formal
    conciliation conference is feasible, the aggrieved party
    and respondent shall be notified of the time and place of
    the conference by registered or certified mail at least 7
    days prior thereto and either or both parties shall appear
    at the conference in person or by attorney.
        (2) 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.
        (3) Nothing occurring at the conference shall be made
    public or used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding for
    the purpose of proving a violation under this Act unless
    the complainant and respondent agree in writing that such
    disclosure be made.
        (4) A conciliation agreement arising out of such
    conciliation shall be an agreement between the respondent
    and the complainant, and shall be subject to approval by
    the Department and Commission.
        (5) A conciliation agreement may provide for binding
    arbitration of the dispute arising from the charge. Any
    such arbitration that results from a conciliation
    agreement may award appropriate relief, including monetary
    relief.
        (6) Each conciliation agreement shall be made public
    unless the complainant and respondent otherwise agree and
    the Department determines that disclosure is not required
    to further the purpose of this Act.
    (F) Complaint.
        (1) When there is a failure to settle or adjust any
    charge through a conciliation conference and the charge is
    not dismissed, the Department shall prepare a written
    complaint, under oath or affirmation, stating the nature of
    the civil rights violation and the relief sought on behalf
    of the aggrieved party. Such complaint shall be based on
    the final investigation report and need not be limited to
    the facts or grounds alleged in the charge filed under
    subsection (A).
        (2) The complaint shall be filed with the Commission.
        (3) The Department may not issue a complaint under this
    Section regarding an alleged civil rights violation after
    the beginning of the trial of a civil action commenced by
    the aggrieved party under any State or federal law, seeking
    relief with respect to that alleged civil rights violation.
    (G) Time Limit.
        (1) When a charge of a civil rights violation has been
    properly filed, the Department, within 100 days thereof,
    unless it is impracticable to do so, shall either issue and
    file a complaint in the manner and form set forth in this
    Section or shall order that no complaint be issued. Any
    such order shall be duly served upon both the aggrieved
    party and the respondent. The Department's failure to
    either issue and file a complaint or order that no
    complaint be issued within 100 days after the proper filing
    of the charge does not deprive the Department of
    jurisdiction over the charge.
        (2) The Director shall make available to the aggrieved
    party and the respondent, at any time, upon request
    following completion of the Department's investigation,
    information derived from an investigation and any final
    investigative report relating to that investigation.
    (H) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to causes of action
filed on or after January 1, 1996.
    (I) The changes made to this Section by Public Act 95-243
apply to charges filed on or after the effective date of those
changes.
    (J) 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. 95-243, eff. 1-1-08; 96-876, eff. 2-2-10.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2012