Discrimination Charges in Illinois Have New Teeth

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With last summer’s amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), employees now have a strengthened hand in filing charges of discrimination against employers.– a 300-day window for filing as opposed to the previous 180 days, and the option to skip an investigation by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and head to state court for remedy.

The longer statute of limitations is designed to mirror the time-frame of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The straight-to-court option is more unique — the IDHR, in fact, must inform employees within 10 days of their filing a charge of discrimination that they can opt out and sue in court.

As a result of these changes, employees may opt to file with tie IDHR rather than the EEOC so they can avoid lengthy investigations and force their employers to face costly legal action or settle out of court.