The Illinois Human Rights Commission is a separate state agency that conducts public hearings on complaints filed by IDHR or Complainant. The Department does not represent either party at the Commission. Both parties may obtain legal representation to properly present or defend the case before the administrative law judge and the Human Rights Commission.
If the Complainant wins at this level, the judge can order remedies allowed by the Act to make the Complainant “whole.” Remedies may include back pay, lost benefits, clearing of personnel file, emotional damages, hiring, promotion, reinstatement, front pay where reinstatement is not possible, and attorney’s fees and costs. Punitive damages, that is, damages intended to punish the employer, are not available pursuant to the Act.