Recent Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act

November 9, 2009

There are two recent changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act that expand protections for employees.  Effective January 1, 2010, individuals who have obtained an order of protection will be protected from unlawful discrimination and retaliation in Illinois.  It will become illegal for most employers to take a negative job action against an employee who has an order of protection in place, where there is no legitimate business reason for the negative job action.

Coupled with the recent changes to a law protecting victims of domestic abuse – the Victim’s Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA) – this provision will provide greater protection to those employees who have received an order of protection.  If you think that you are being discriminated against because of an issued order of protection, please contact Jensen Law Office, LLC to further discuss your situation.

Secondly, the Governor will likely sign HB0059, a modification to the Illinois Human Rights Act providing several procedural changes.  These changes are largely minor, but one significant change provides that any dismissal of a charge by the Illinois Department of Human Rights, whether due to a lack of substantial evidence or even for jurisdictional issues, can now be pursued in Illinois Circuit Court or in front of the Human Rights Commission, and that action must be filed within 90 days after the receipt of the notice from the Director of the Department of Human Rights.

Governor Quinn is expected to sign HB0059 in the very near future and it will become effective immediately.

Navigating through the Illinois Department of Human Rights can be tricky and cumbersome.  The experienced attorneys at Jensen Law Office, LLC can assist you in navigating those waters. Contact Jensen Law Office, LLC today to discuss your situation in further detail.

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