State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 1/31/2022, by Rep. Ann M. Williams


775 ILCS 5/7-101  from Ch. 68, par. 7-101
775 ILCS 5/8A-102  from Ch. 68, par. 8A-102
775 ILCS 5/10-101  from Ch. 68, par. 10-101
775 ILCS 5/10-102  from Ch. 68, par. 10-102
775 ILCS 5/10-105 new

    Amends the Illinois Human Rights Act. Provides that the Department of Human Rights has the power to intervene in complaints pending before the Human Rights Commission regarding employment, financial credit, public accommodations, elementary, secondary, and higher education, or additional civil rights violations. Provides that the Department may petition and shall be permitted as a matter of right to intervene as a party in the proceeding if the Commission determines that: (i) the case involves matters of public interest or importance beyond the issues in the case; (ii) the Department has an interest different from one or more of the parties; (iii) the expertise of the Department makes it better suited to articulate a particular point of view; or (iv) the representation of the Department's interest by existing parties is or may be inadequate and the Department will or may be bound by an order or judgment in the action. Allows the Attorney General to seek to intervene on behalf of the Department in a civil action filed by a complainant in State or federal court if the Department certifies that the case is of general public importance. Makes conforming changes.

LRB102 25991 LNS 35394 b





HB5558LRB102 25991 LNS 35394 b

1    AN ACT concerning human rights.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Illinois Human Rights Act is amended by
5changing Sections 7-101, 8A-102, 10-101, and 10-102 and by
6adding Section 10-105 as follows:
7    (775 ILCS 5/7-101)  (from Ch. 68, par. 7-101)
8    Sec. 7-101. Powers and Duties. In addition to other powers
9and duties prescribed in this Act, the Department shall have
10the following powers:
11    (A) Rules and Regulations. To adopt, promulgate, amend,
12and rescind rules and regulations not inconsistent with the
13provisions of this Act pursuant to the Illinois Administrative
14Procedure Act.
15    (B) Charges. To issue, receive, investigate, conciliate,
16settle, and dismiss charges filed in conformity with this Act.
17    (C) Compulsory Process. To request subpoenas as it deems
18necessary for its investigations.
19    (D) Complaints. To file complaints with the Commission in
20conformity with this Act and to intervene in complaints
21pending before the Commission filed under Article 2, 4, 5, 5A,
22or 6.
23    (E) Judicial Enforcement. To seek temporary relief and to



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1enforce orders of the Commission in conformity with this Act.
2    (F) Equal Employment Opportunities. To take such action as
3may be authorized to provide for equal employment
4opportunities and affirmative action.
5    (G) Recruitment; Research; Public Communication; Advisory
6Councils. To engage in such recruitment, research and public
7communication and create such advisory councils as may be
8authorized to effectuate the purposes of this Act.
9    (H) Coordination with other Agencies. To coordinate its
10activities with federal, state, and local agencies in
11conformity with this Act.
12    (I) Public Grants; Private Gifts. To accept public grants
13and private gifts as may be authorized.
14    (J) Education and Training. To implement a formal and
15unbiased program of education and training for all employees
16assigned to investigate and conciliate charges under Articles
177A and 7B. The training program shall include the following:
18        (1) substantive and procedural aspects of the
19    investigation and conciliation positions;
20        (2) current issues in human rights law and practice;
21        (3) lectures by specialists in substantive areas
22    related to human rights matters;
23        (4) orientation to each operational unit of the
24    Department and Commission;
25        (5) observation of experienced Department
26    investigators and attorneys conducting conciliation



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1    conferences, combined with the opportunity to discuss
2    evidence presented and rulings made;
3        (6) the use of hypothetical cases requiring the
4    Department investigator and conciliation conference
5    attorney to issue judgments as a means to evaluating
6    knowledge and writing ability;
7        (7) writing skills;
8        (8) computer skills, including but not limited to word
9    processing and document management.
10    A formal, unbiased and ongoing professional development
11program including, but not limited to, the above-noted areas
12shall be implemented to keep Department investigators and
13attorneys informed of recent developments and issues and to
14assist them in maintaining and enhancing their professional
16(Source: P.A. 99-74, eff. 7-20-15.)
17    (775 ILCS 5/8A-102)  (from Ch. 68, par. 8A-102)
18    Sec. 8A-102. Hearing on Complaint.
19    (A) Services. Within five days after a complaint is filed
20by the Department, or the aggrieved party, as the case may be,
21the Commission shall cause it to be served on the respondent
22together with a notice of hearing before a hearing officer of
23the Commission at a place therein fixed.
24    (B) Time and Location of Hearing. An initial hearing date
25shall be scheduled for not less than thirty nor more than



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1ninety days after service of the complaint at a place that is
2within one hundred miles of the place at which the civil rights
3violation is alleged to have occurred. The hearing officer
4may, for good cause shown, extend the date of the hearing.
5    (B-5) Intervention by the Department.
6        (1) After the filing of a complaint under Article 2,
7    4, 5, 5A, or 6, the Department may petition and shall be
8    permitted as a matter of right to intervene as a party in
9    the proceeding if the Commission determines that:
10            (i) the case involves matters of public interest
11        or importance beyond the issues in the case;
12            (ii) the Department has an interest different from
13        one or more of the parties;
14            (iii) the expertise of the Department makes it
15        better suited to articulate a particular point of
16        view; or
17            (iv) the representation of the Department's
18        interest by existing parties is or may be inadequate
19        and the Department will or may be bound by an order or
20        judgment in the action.
21        (2) The Department, as an intervenor, shall have all
22    of the rights of an original party subject to the order of
23    the administrative law judge.
24        (3) Upon such intervention, the Commission may award
25    such relief as is authorized to be granted to a
26    complainant under Section 8A-104.



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1    (C) Amendment.
2        (1) A complaint may be amended under oath by leave of
3    the presiding hearing officer, for good cause shown, upon
4    timely written motion and reasonable notice to all
5    interested parties at any time prior to the issuance of a
6    recommended order pursuant to Section 8A-102(I) or
7    8B-102(J). The amended complaint shall be served upon all
8    parties of record and the Department of Human Rights by
9    the complainant, or by the Department if it prepared and
10    filed the amended complaint, within 7 days of the date of
11    the order permitting its filing or such additional time as
12    the hearing officer may order. Amendments to the complaint
13    may encompass any unlawful discrimination which is like or
14    reasonably related to the charge and growing out of the
15    allegations in such charge, including, but not limited to,
16    allegations of retaliation.
17        (2) A motion that the complaint be amended to conform
18    to the evidence, made prior to the close of the public
19    hearing, may be addressed orally on the record to the
20    hearing officer, and shall be granted for good and
21    sufficient cause.
22    (D) Answer.
23        (1) The respondent shall file an answer under oath or
24    affirmation to the original or amended complaint within 30
25    days of the date of service thereof, but the hearing
26    officer may, for good cause shown, grant further time for



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1    the filing of an answer.
2        (2) When the respondent files a motion to dismiss the
3    complaint within 30 days and the motion is denied by the
4    hearing officer, the time for filing the answer shall be
5    within 15 days of the date of denial of the motion.
6        (3) Any allegation in the complaint which is not
7    denied or admitted in the answer is deemed admitted unless
8    the respondent states in the answer that he is without
9    sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief with
10    respect to such allegation.
11        (4) The failure to file an answer is deemed to
12    constitute an admission of the allegations contained in
13    the complaint.
14        (5) The respondent has the right to amend his answer,
15    upon leave of the hearing officer, for good cause shown.
16    (E) Proceedings In Forma Pauperis.
17        (1) If the hearing officer is satisfied that the
18    complainant or respondent is a poor person, and unable to
19    prosecute or defend the complaint and pay the costs and
20    expenses thereof, the hearing officer may permit the party
21    to commence and prosecute or defend the action as a poor
22    person. Such party shall have all the necessary subpoenas,
23    appearances, and proceedings without prepayment of witness
24    fees or charges. Witnesses shall attend as in other cases
25    under this Act and the same remedies shall be available
26    for failure or refusal to obey the subpoena as are



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1    provided for in Section 8-104 of this Act.
2        (2) A person desiring to proceed without payment of
3    fees or charges shall file with the hearing officer an
4    affidavit stating that he is a poor person and unable to
5    pay costs, and that the action is meritorious.
6    (F) Discovery. The procedure for obtaining discovery of
7information from parties and witnesses shall be specified by
8the Commission in rules. If no rule has been promulgated by the
9Commission on a particular type of discovery, the Code of
10Civil Procedure may be considered persuasive authority. The
11types of discovery shall be the same as in civil cases in the
12circuit courts of this State, provided, however, that a party
13may take discovery depositions only upon leave of the hearing
14officer and for good cause shown.
15    (G) Hearing.
16        (1) Both the complainant and the respondent may appear
17    at the hearing and examine and cross-examine witnesses.
18        (2) The testimony taken at the hearing shall be under
19    oath or affirmation and a transcript shall be made and
20    filed in the office of the Commission.
21        (3) The testimony taken at the hearing is subject to
22    the same rules of evidence that apply in courts of this
23    State in civil cases.
24    (H) Compelling Appearance of Parties at Hearing. The
25appearance at the hearing of a party or a person who at the
26time of the hearing is an officer, director, or employee of a



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1party may be required by serving the party with a notice
2designating the person who is required to appear. The notice
3also may require the production at the hearing of documents or
4tangible things. If the party or person is a nonresident of the
5county, the hearing officer may order any terms and conditions
6in connection with his appearance at the hearing that are
7just, including payment of his reasonable expenses. Upon a
8failure to comply with the notice, the hearing officer may
9enter any order that is just.
10    (I) Decision.
11        (1) When all the testimony has been taken, the hearing
12    officer shall determine whether the respondent has engaged
13    in or is engaging in the civil rights violation with
14    respect to the person aggrieved as charged in the
15    complaint. A determination sustaining a complaint shall be
16    based upon a preponderance of the evidence.
17        (2) The hearing officer shall make findings of fact in
18    writing and, if the finding is against the respondent,
19    shall issue and cause to be served on the parties and the
20    Department a recommended order for appropriate relief as
21    provided by this Act.
22        (3) If, upon all the evidence, the hearing officer
23    finds that a respondent has not engaged in the
24    discriminatory practice charged in the complaint or that a
25    preponderance of the evidence does not sustain the
26    complaint, he shall state his findings of fact and shall



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1    issue and cause to be served on the parties and the
2    Department a recommended order dismissing the complaint.
3        (4) The findings and recommended order of the hearing
4    officer shall be filed with the Commission. The findings
5    and recommended order may be authored by a hearing officer
6    other than the hearing officer who presides at the public
7    hearing if:
8            (a) the hearing officer who presides at the public
9        hearing is unable to author the findings and
10        recommended order by reason of death, disability, or
11        separation from employment; and
12            (b) all parties to a complaint file a joint motion
13        agreeing to have the findings and recommended order
14        written by a hearing officer who did not preside at the
15        public hearing.
16        (5) A recommended order dismissing a complaint may
17    include an award of reasonable attorneys fees in favor of
18    the respondent against the complainant or the
19    complainant's attorney, or both, if the hearing officer
20    concludes that the complaint was frivolous, unreasonable
21    or groundless or that the complainant continued to
22    litigate after it became clearly so.
23        (6) The hearing officer may issue a recommended order
24    of dismissal with prejudice or a recommended order of
25    default as a sanction for the failure of a party to
26    prosecute his or her case, file a required pleading,



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1    appear at a hearing, or otherwise comply with this Act,
2    the rules of the Commission, or a previous order of the
3    hearing officer.
4(Source: P.A. 92-472, eff. 1-1-02.)
5    (775 ILCS 5/10-101)  (from Ch. 68, par. 10-101)
6    Sec. 10-101. Applicability. With the exception of Sections
7Section 10-104 and 10-105, this Article shall apply solely to
8civil actions arising under Article 3 of this Act.
9(Source: P.A. 93-1017, eff. 8-24-04.)
10    (775 ILCS 5/10-102)  (from Ch. 68, par. 10-102)
11    Sec. 10-102. Court Actions.
12    (A) Circuit Court Actions.
13        (1) An aggrieved party may commence a civil action in
14    an appropriate Circuit Court not later than 2 years after
15    the occurrence or the termination of an alleged civil
16    rights violation or the breach of a conciliation or
17    settlement agreement entered into under this Act,
18    whichever occurs last, to obtain appropriate relief with
19    respect to the alleged civil rights violation or breach.
20    Venue for such civil action shall be determined under
21    Section 8-111(A)(1).
22        (2) The computation of such 2-year period shall not
23    include any time during which an administrative proceeding
24    under this Act was pending with respect to a complaint or



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1    charge under this Act based upon the alleged civil rights
2    violation. This paragraph does not apply to actions
3    arising from a breach of a conciliation or settlement
4    agreement.
5        (3) An aggrieved party may commence a civil action
6    under this subsection whether or not a charge has been
7    filed under Section 7B-102 and without regard to the
8    status of any such charge, however, if the Department or
9    local agency has obtained a conciliation or settlement
10    agreement with the consent of an aggrieved party, no
11    action may be filed under this subsection by such
12    aggrieved party with respect to the alleged civil rights
13    violation practice which forms the basis for such
14    complaint except for the purpose of enforcing the terms of
15    such conciliation or settlement agreement.
16        (4) An aggrieved party shall not commence a civil
17    action under this subsection with respect to an alleged
18    civil rights violation which forms the basis of a
19    complaint issued by the Department if a hearing officer
20    has commenced a hearing on the record under Article 3 of
21    this Act with respect to such complaint.
22    (B) Appointment of Attorney by Court. Upon application by
23a person alleging a civil rights violation or a person against
24whom the civil rights violation is alleged, if in the opinion
25of the court such person is financially unable to bear the
26costs of such action, the court may:



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1        (1) appoint an attorney for such person, any attorney
2    so appointed may petition for an award of attorneys fees
3    pursuant to subsection (C)(2) of this Section; or
4        (2) authorize the commencement or continuation of a
5    civil action under subsection (A) without the payment of
6    fees, costs, or security.
7    (C) Relief which may be granted.
8        (1) In a civil action under subsection (A) if the
9    court finds that a civil rights violation has occurred or
10    is about to occur, the court may award to the plaintiff
11    actual and punitive damages, and may grant as relief, as
12    the court deems appropriate, any permanent or preliminary
13    injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order,
14    including an order enjoining the defendant from engaging
15    in such civil rights violation or ordering such
16    affirmative action as may be appropriate.
17        (2) In a civil action under subsection (A), the court,
18    in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other
19    than the State of Illinois, reasonable attorneys fees and
20    costs. The State of Illinois shall be liable for such fees
21    and costs to the same extent as a private person.
22    (D) Intervention by the Attorney General. If the
23Department certifies that the case is of general public
24importance, the By The Department. The Attorney General of
25Illinois may seek to intervene on behalf of the Department in a
26civil action filed by a complainant in State or federal court



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1under this Section if the Department certifies that the case
2is of general public importance. Upon such intervention, the
3court may award any of the remedies set forth in Section 8B-104
4and subsection (B) of Section 10-104 such relief as is
5authorized to be granted to a plaintiff in a civil action under
6Section 10-102(C).
7(Source: P.A. 101-661, eff. 4-2-21.)
8    (775 ILCS 5/10-105 new)
9    Sec. 10-105. Intervention by the Attorney General. If the
10Department certifies that the case is of general public
11importance, the Attorney General may seek to intervene on
12behalf of the Department in a civil action filed by a
13complainant in State or federal court. Upon such intervention,
14the court or jury may award any of the remedies set forth in
15Section 8A-104 and subsection (B) of Section 10-104.