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Frequently Asked Questions 

 

ABOUT THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS


  1. What is the Illinois Department of Human Rights?

  2. What is the Illinois Human Rights Act?

  3. What training does IDHR provide?

  4. What is IDHR's role in public contracts?

  5. What education and outreach activities does IDHR perform?

  6. How does IDHR monitor the implementation of equal employment opportunities and affirmative action in state agencies?

What is the Illinois Department of Human Rights  (“IDHR”)?

IDHR is the agency responsible for enforcing the Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act”), the state’s anti-discrimination law.  IDHR's mission is to secure for all individuals within the State of Illinois freedom from unlawful discrimination and to establish and to promote equal opportunity and affirmative action as the policy of Illinois and its residents.  IDHR provides a number of services in partnership with business, state and local government agencies, community-based organizations, and individuals.  These services include investigating allegations of prohibited discrimination, training, public contract assistance, education/outreach, technical assistance, and monitoring implementation of equal employment opportunities and affirmative action in state agencies.

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What is the Illinois Human Rights Act?

The Illinois Human Rights Act is the state law prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment, real estate (housing) transactions, access to financial credit, and public accommodations.  Passed in 1979, the Act created the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR")and the Illinois Human Rights Commission ("IHRC").  IDHR is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Act.  The Commission is responsible for reviewing and making decisions on complaints of discrimination after IDHR's investigation has found substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination.

Please refer to the IHRC's website for additional information about that agency's activities.

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What training does IDHR provide?

The Illinois Department of Human Rights’ (IDHR) Institute for Training and Development conducts valuable trainings to organizations and companies throughout Illinois designed to increase respect among diverse cultures both in the workplace and at home.

These life skills and self-assessment trainings aim to provide timely and accurate information with respect to federal and state laws regarding fair employment practices; ways to resolve conflict; and requirements for non-discrimination. Much, if not all of what is learned in class has practical applications in terms of how we interact and cope in our culturally diverse society.

IDHR Training Institute participants will be instructed on employer obligations under the Illinois Human Rights Act, as well as applicable rules and regulations promulgated by this statute. Training participants are guided through real-life scenarios to aid in understanding the application of the law in more pragmatic terms. In addition, valuable resource materials including publications and handouts are supplied for the purposes of independent study and on-the-job reference tools.

All trainings, workshops and seminars offered by the IDHR Institute for Training and Development are interactive and appropriate for private sector, local, state and federal government employers. Our certified trainers offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of non-discrimination. The training curricula are constantly updated to reflect the most current information and changes in the law.

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What is IDHR's role in public contracts?

IDHR's Public Contracts Unit registers entities seeking to establish eligibility status for competitively bidding on state contracts.  The Public Contracts Unit also conducts compliance audits of registered entities to ensure that the registered eligible bidders and public contractors are meeting their obligations required by the Illinois Human Rights Act.

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What education and outreach activities does IDHR provide?

In addition to being an enforcement agency, IDHR also provides a number of outreach and education services and works in partnership with companies, agencies, organizations and individuals to provide:

Press Inquiries:  The Communications Manager responds to requests for information from media outlets and the general public.  Send an email to Mike Claffey or contact him at 312-814-3957.

Community Relations:  The Department conducts outreach to the general public and recruits for state agency jobs, focusing on people of color, underrepresented minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities.  For information, send an email to Blanca Vargas or contact her at 312-814-4311.

Training & Development: The Illinois Department of Human Rights’ (IDHR) Institute for Training and Development provides valuable trainings to organizations and companies throughout Illinois designed to increase respect among diverse cultures both in the workplace and at home.

The Communications Unit is responsible for responding to public information requests and distributing the Department’s publications.

Speaker Requests and Requests for Meeting with IDHR Staff: IDHR representatives are available to speak about agency rules and procedures as they relate to filing a charge of discrimination in Illinois.  Topics cover rights and responsibilities of groups and individuals under the law.  Complete a Speaker Request Form or Request for Meeting Form.

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Fair Housing Education and Outreach: In addition to receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination in housing, the Fair Housing Division provides training and technical assistance to government agencies and community-based groups regarding fair housing rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act and other fair housing laws.  Trainings are conducted at a variety of sites and sessions can be modified to meet the specific needs of the agency or group.

The Fair Housing Division also develops a variety of educational fair housing-related projects throughout the year to increase public awareness of fair housing and participates in a number of fairs, seminars, conferences and workshops statewide.  In an effort to affirmatively further fair housing, the Fair Housing Division has led coalition-building efforts with various groups and developed a number of fair housing outreach and education materials.

To request training or a presentation on fair housing, complete a Speaker Request Form.  To invite IDHR to participate in your event, or to request to be included on IDHR's distribution list for notification of fair housing events, contact us via the phone number or email link listed below.  To request materials, please download the IDHR Materials Request Form on the link below and submit according to the instructions.

Materials Order Form

Contact IDHR Fair Housing Outreach and Education Coordinator:
(312) 814-6278

Fair Housing Email

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How does IDHR monitor the implementation of equal employment opportunities and affirmative action in state agencies

 

The Liaison Unit monitors the implementation of EEO/AA in state agencies by evaluating agencies' performance at the end of each year in relation to a minimum compliance criteria for minority and female goals, which are set according to the labor market availability of these groups.  Agencies that fail to meet these standards are referred to training pursuant to Section 7-105(H) of the Human Rights Act.

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