Employment Discrimination in Illinois

Those who have suffered employment discrimination in Illinois may be eligible to file a claim against their employer. Employment discrimination can be based on sex, gender identity, race, creed, religion, age – if older than 40, and several other factors. There are federal laws in place to protect workers from such treatment, and many states have their own state laws that offer added protection as well. Here is a rundown of what to do about employment discrimination in Illinois.

What Kind of Discrimination Laws are in Place in Illinois?

The Illinois Human Rights Act makes it illegal to take adverse action against an employee because of their color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, race, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, or gender-related identity. As amended, the Act applies to any employers with one or more employees.

Who is Protected By Federal and State Laws in Illinois?

State and federal laws apply to all Illinois workers. They protect workers from being discriminated against for many different things, such as gender, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, disability, or age. All these workers are protected and are considered part of the protected class that the laws were enacted to keep safe and help.

What Employers are Covered by Discrimination Laws in Illinois?

Illinois state discrimination laws apply to employers who have at least one employee, so it applies to basically all employers. Any employer who violates the laws can face harsh penalties and can be ordered to compensate the worker who suffered the harassment.

Illinois Discrimination Laws

Illinois workers are protected by both Federal and Illinois discrimination laws. Illinois employers are governed by Federal discrimination laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which forbids discrimination based on an employee’s race, religion, sex, or where they’re from. They must also adhere to the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other Federal discrimination laws.

If your employer in Illinois is discriminating against you then you can file a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC investigates workplace discrimination in all 50 states.

Your employer also may be violating the Illinois Human Rights Act. The Illinois Human Rights Act forbids employers from discriminating based on an employee’s race, age, pregnancy status, orientation, physical or mental disability, marital status, order of protection status, gender identity, place of birth, or sex. That means that if your employer is discriminating against you in any way they are violating Illinois law as well as Federal law.

When you file a complaint against your employer for discrimination you need to have evidence showing a pattern of discrimination. It’s a good idea to make a timeline of each incident of discrimination that you’ve experienced that includes who was involved, the date and time of the event, and a brief summary of what happened.

You should also be saving things like your schedules, pay stubs, emails, texts, and any photos or videos you can get of the discrimination that you’re experiencing. The more evidence you have the stronger your case will be.

Which State Agencies Regulate Workplace Harassment Laws in Illinois?

In Illinois, if you are a victim of sexual harassment or discrimination, there is a helpline available. You can call the State of Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline at (877) 235-7703 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The counselors will help in finding the needed resources for the specific incident.

You can report the harassment and file a complaint with government agencies. You can contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), or if you suffered misconduct by employees, vendors, or others who do work with the executive branch state agencies, contact the Ethics Officers for Agencies of the Illinois Governor. If the misconduct was by officers, employees, vendors, or others doing business with the executive branch state agencies, boards, and commissions under the state governor, report the infractions to the Office of the Executive Inspector General.

You can start your claim by notifying your employer. This means by filing a complaint with a supervisor or with a human resources (HR) representative. You will want to make sure you have everything documented and can provide copies of evidence and documentation. You should keep the original documents or files for future reference.

How Do I File A Discrimination Claim in Illinois?

In Illinois, you can file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can do this over the phone or online. You can also mail in documents. You can schedule an appointment at your nearest office as well. Often, much of the claim’s process will be handled over the phone or online.

You can also file a claim with the proper state agency. Remember, documentation and evidence are essential to the outcome of your claim, so be sure to provide hard evidence to support your claim. There is a time limit – or statute of limitations – for pursuing a claim. The federal laws allow 180 days from the date of the incident for a claim to be filed, but because there are state laws in Illinois, the time limit is extended to 300 days.

If you do not file your claim within 300 days, it will be dismissed, and you cannot be compensated for your losses. You should start the process by adhering to the written company policy, which usually starts by notifying your employer and allowing them to try to resolve the matter. If you are not satisfied with the response, then advance your claim to the next level.

How Do I Get Help Filing A Discrimination Claim in Illinois?

If you have suffered employment discrimination in Illinois, you should enlist the help of an experienced employment law attorney who is familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to employment discrimination and harassment matters. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details with an attorney who handles employment law matters in your state.

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