Definition of Terms 


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This is the initial allegation of discrimination. It must be filed with the Department of Human Rights ("DHR") within 180 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory event. A charge is often confused with a "complaint," which is the document which starts proceedings at the HRC level.

Complainant-Filed Complaint:

For charges filed prior to January 1, 1996, this is the same as a 300-day complaint. For charges filed after January 1, 1996, this is the same as a 365-day complaint.


The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This is the agency which enforces Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other federal anti-discrimination laws.

FOD: A Final Order and Decision.

A Final Order and Decision.


The Human Rights Act.


The Human Rights Commission.

Lack of Substantial Evidence:

(See Substantial Evidence) If the DHR finds after an investigation that the substantial evidence standard has not been met, it will dismiss the charge without a hearing based on a "lack of substantial evidence."


See Lack of Substantial Evidence.

Motion Call:

When a complaint is first filed with the HRC, it is not assigned to a hearing judge. Instead, all of the cases that are not ready for hearing are assigned to the motions judge. If a party has a motion, he or she sets it up on a schedule. On the designated day, all of the parties who have motions, argue their motions orally before the motions judge. This is known as the motion all or "the call." Depending on the volume of motions to be heard, there is about a one week wait to get a motion heard on the motion call. There is no motion call for complaints that will be heard in the HRC Springfield office.


Order and Decision.

Order and Decision:

This is the final decision of a three-member panel of the HRC on the merits of a case.

Petition for Rehearing:

Most of the work of the HRC is done by three-member panels. If a party is dissatisfied with the O&D of a three-member panel, the party may file a "petition for rehearing." When there is a rehearing, all 13 Commissioners listen to arguments on legal issues. They do not retry the case. Although a dissatisfied party may petition for rehearing by the full Commission, there is no right to rehearing. Rehearing is rarely granted.

Petition for Review:

This is a document which starts an appeal to the Appellate Court. It should not be confused with a "Request for Review" or a "Petition for Rehearing."

Recommended Liability Determination:

This is the title of an order containing the liability recommendation of the ALJ which supports the complaint or portions thereof and/or which determines that a party is entitled to an award of attorneys fees and costs and directs that party to file a petition for such an award. This order is subsequently incorporated into the final Recommended Order and Decision entered in the case by the ALJ. This type of order was formerly called an Interim Order and Decision or "IROD."


See Recommended Liability Determination.

Recommended Order and Decision:

This is the title of the recommendation of the ALJ to the HRC as to how the case should be decided. The findings of fact of the ALJ must be given substantial defer="defer"ence by the HRC, but the legal conclusions of the ALJ are merely advisory.

Request for Review:

After the DHR has dismissed a Charge, or issued a notice of default against Respondent, the losing party has 30 days to request a review of the decision. For Charges filed prior to January 1, 1996, the request for review is directed to the HRC. After January 1, 1996, the request for review is directed to the Chief Legal Counsel of the DHR. The HRC looks at the request for review, the investigation report, and the DHR response to the request for review. The decision of the HRC is usually based upon the written materials presented by the interested party. However, on occasion, the HRC may hear oral argument or remand the matter for a hearing before an ALJ if a factual determination on a specific issue is necessary for the disposition of the request for review. The HRC decides whether the dismissal or notice of default was properly entered.


See Recommended Order and Decision


See Substantial Evidence

Substantial Evidence:

Enough evidence of discrimination so that a reasonable person might infer a discriminatory motive. This is the standard used by the DHR to decide whether a Charge should be dismissed without a hearing before the HRC.

Three-Hundred Day Complaint and Three-Hundred Sixty-Five Day Complaint:

This is a complaint filed by a complainant after the DHR has failed to act within 300 days (for Charges filed before January 1, 1996) or 365 days (for Charges filed after January 1, 1996), respectively. The complainant has 30 days after the expiration of the 300 day or 365 day period to file his or her own complaint (See "Window"). If the complainant files a proper 300 day or 365 day complaint, then the DHR stops investigating the Charge. The HRC treats such complaints in the same way as complaints filed by the DHR.


This is the term used to designate the 30 day period provided for the filing of 300-day complaints or 365-day complaints.

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