Chicago Commission on Human Relations

If you have been the victim of discrimination in Chicago you have multiple places to file a complaint.  Choosing the right venue is very important and can mean the difference of thousands of dollars.  One venue is the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR").  The IDHR investigates violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act.   In Chicago one can also file a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").  This venue is based on federal law and allows you to file a complaint in federal court.  There is also a third option.  If the discrimination took place in the city of Chicago you can file a discrimination complaint with the Chicago Department of Human Relations.   It takes an experienced lawyer to decide which option is best for you.   This determination is done on a case-by-case basis.

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations ("CCHR") investigates complaints based on violations of the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance.   Even though both the Act and Ordinance are similar there are a few distinctions.  One major advantage to filing with the CCHR is that you can ask for punitive damages.  This is very important in cases where the actual damages don't amount to much.  The CCHR investigates the same categories of discrimination that the IDHR investigates.  However the CCHR is a city agency and not governed by state law.  Things can get tricky at that agency because the rules are a little different than in other venues.  It takes experience to navigate this system.  And it takes an attorney who is willing to go up against large law firms.

The categories include sexual harassment, race, national origin, ancestry, gender,  religion. sexual orientation, gender identity, retaliation, marital status, parental status, disability, age, source of income, and military discharge.  As you can see there are quite a few categories of discrimination that are covered.  For this reason a decision has to be made on where to file.  There are many options and choosing the right venue is very important.  Sometimes I choose this venue because I think it will give you an advantage over federal court. 

It is very important that you contact an attorney who practices employment law and understand the hostile work environment that can be created in the workplace.  I work hard for my clients and I am skilled at negotiating settlements that are favorable to my clients.  Remember that the companies will have top lawyers working on their behalf. You can't go it alone and think you will be on equal footing.  Even though this is happening to you for the first time, in many cases the company has gone through this before.  They know the defense they want to put forward.  Their attorneys are skilled at getting evidence and witness statements.  You need to be protected when you go up against this type of large and powerful group.

If you are the victim of discrimination in housing, at school or at work please contact my office for a free consultation.  There is never a charge to discuss your case.  Email me at or call 312-505-5038 and ask for Pete.  Remember there are always very strict time limits for filing your complaint and they can't be extended.  Don't lose your employment rights by failing to act in a timely manner.  You don't get a second chance when it comes to protecting your employment rights.