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What the Illinois Department of Human Rights Can and Cannot Do for a Discriminated Employee

Jan. 10, 2020

Workplace discrimination can not only take a toll on your self-confidence, but it can block access to opportunities, which can otherwise improve your career aspects. In Illinois, such actions are illegal, especially if they compromise the safety and wellbeing of a protected class.

For example, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, marital and citizen status, sex, disability, age, country of origin, gender identity, criminal record, location of residence, and lack of a mailing address (in case the employee lives in a shelter).

Additionally, Illinois protects disabled individuals who are employed via the Americans with Disabilities Act. It provides this protection by describing a disability as a mental or physical aspect of a person that is determinable.

If you have been discriminated due to any of these reasons, you can file a complaint with two entities – either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to get in touch with both. Your complaint to be taken seriously. All you need to do is to file with one and mention that you need to cross your issue with the second agency.

Most people opt for the IDHR since it deals with employment discrimination across the state. However, bear in mind, you have only 300 days to take action. Additionally, the employer you are filing a complaint against has to have at least 15 employees on the payroll. However, this clause can be overlooked if he/she is:

– Employed by the state or the government as a public contractor

– Guilty of sexual misconduct or physical/mental disability discrimination

– Part of the state government

The IDHR can act against the employer for the aforementioned infractions. However, it cannot:

– Look into fraudulent actions taken by unions, unless the claim covers the aforementioned protected classes

– Look into unfair employment practices, such as personality conflicts, political affiliations, etc. unless they are the direct result of discrimination as described before.

– Look into charges placed on the federal government

Discrimination in the workplace is one of the vilest forms of power play, which can target your dignity and stop you from making the most of your skills. Taking such employers to the task is your legal right. For more than three decades, Michael T. Smith has worked to protect the rights of employees who have been treated unfairly in Schaumburg, IL. Get in touch with the Law Office of Michael Smith for a free consultation today.