Illinois Human Rights Commission

In Illinois once the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") has issued a finding of substantial evidence, the victim of discrimination may file a complaint directly with the Illinois Human Rights Commission ("IHRC").  The IHRC is mandated by law to hear cases and the cases proceed in front of an administrative law judge.  There are many reasons why it is to your advantage to file with the IHRC instead of a lawsuit in state or federal court.  For one, the cost is non existent.  There is no charge to file a complaint with the IHRC.  On the other hand it cost a few hundred dollars just to file a complaint in state or federal court.

Another advantage to filing with the IHRC is that company must hire a lawyer and therefore they will have to incur costs, which may make them want to settle your case quicker.  I don't charge to handle your IHRC case unless money is collected or pursuant to any signed agreement we may have.  Don't try and go it alone in front of the IHRC because it can get tricky and having an experienced lawyer is very helpful and smart.  Having an experienced employment attorney can also increase settlement amounts.

I try cases at the Chicago and Springfield locations and offer free consultations to discuss your case.  Call or email anytime to discuss your employment related issues.  Don't try to go it alone.  There is never a fee unless I recover money for you.  Cases in front of the administrative law judge can be tricky and the other side will have an attorney so make sure you are on equal footing.

An important area in front of the Illinois Human Rights Commission is discovery.  Ask the right questions and request the right documents and you can have a winning case.  Ask the wrong ones and your case may suffer.  If you have never drafted discovery you will be at a real disadvantage.  Let an experienced employment lawyer take your case and maximize your recovery.   I am at the Chicago office of the Illinois Human Rights Commission all the time and have been in front of all the Judges so I know how best to maneuver your case.   Remember the other side will have an experienced attorney representing them, don't go it alone.

Additionally, at the IHRC there usually aren't depositions taken.  This puts even more importance on written discovery.  This may be your only chance to get important information prior to trial.  I see many cases won or lost at this point.

 I even lecture at the Illinois State Bar Association on employment discrimination cases to other employment lawyers.  I wouldn't be lecturing to other attorneys unless I was at the top of my game.  At the IHRC you need an aggressive and experience attorney to maximize your chance of success.

Another important issue at the IHRC is the awarding of attorney fees if you are victorious in your case.  If you win even a minimal amount at trial the judge will usually award reasonable attorney fees.  This puts even more pressure on the other side during settlement negotiations.  If you don't have an attorney, the other side doesn't have to worry about this aspect of the case.

Even many experienced lawyers don't like taking case to the Illinois Human Rights Commission because the rules are different than in court.  Cases in front of the IHRC are governed by the Illinois Human Rights Act and the rules are a little different than the Illinois Rules of Civil Procedure.  The nuances make many lawyers uncomfortable and therefore they would prefer to settle the case rather than take it to trial. 

I am very experienced in front of the Commission and can make my experience work for you.  For more information about cases in front of the Illinois Human Rights Commission involving sexual harassment please check my blog.
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