Federal and state law prohibit Illinois employers from discriminating against employees based on certain characteristics, such as race or religion. (To learn more, see our page on employment discrimination and harassment.)
In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on:
In addition, Illinois state law also prohibits discrimination based on:
Federal antidiscrimination laws apply to Illinois employers with 15 or more employees, with the following exceptions:
In Illinois, companies with 15 or more employees are subject to all provisions of the state's antidiscrimination law. Employers with one or more employees must comply with the law's provisions regarding disability discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in Illinois. (See our article on filing a discrimination claim with the EEOC.)
The Department of Human Rights enforces state antidiscrimination law in Illinois. You can contact the Department of Human Rights at 312-814-6200 or go to its website.
In Illinois, you can file an employment discrimination charge in one of two ways. You can either file a complaint with the federal EEOC, or you can file one with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
In either case, you usually have 300 days from the most recent incident of discrimination to file a charge.