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Discrimination Cases

The City of Chicago has enacted two powerful anti-discrimination ordinances.  The Chicago Human Rights Ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, credit transactions, and bonding, as well as retaliation for filing a complaint at the Commission.  The Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits housing discrimination.   Both ordinances prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, age (over 40), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, marital status, military discharge status, and source of income.

The Commission on Human Relations may order a business or individual person who violates either ordinance to pay a fine up to $500 per incident, to pay damages and attorney fees to the complaining party, and to take specific actions to end discriminatory practices.

Commission staff can answer questions about filing a discrimination complaint and can help with drafting a complaint.  After a complaint is filed, the Commission notifies each business or individual accused of discrimination by mail, with a deadline to submit a written response.  The Commission investigates the complaint and decides whether there is “substantial evidence” of an ordinance violation.  If “substantial evidence” is found, the case proceeds to an administrative hearing before a hearing officer and a final ruling by the Board of Commissioners.  Board rulings can be reviewed and enforced through the state courts.  Parties may settle a case at any time during the complaint adjudication process.

Alerts (Discrimination Cases)

Low Alert Jun 19, 2017 Statement on House Bill 3711 and IL Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes
Low Alert Jun 12, 2017 Statement on Non-Essential Travel to North Carolina and Participation in Registry Programs
Low Alert Jun 8, 2017 Public Announcement: Board Meeting Schedule Time Change
Low Alert Feb 7, 2017 Overview of New Disability Rights Regulations in Public Accommodations, Effective July 1, 2017
Low Alert Oct 25, 2016 CCHR Budget Statement, FY 2017

Most Recent News (Discrimination Cases)

Feb 3, 2017 Chairman and Commissioner Mona Noriega's Statement on the Passing of Rabbi Herman Schaalman
Jan 12, 2017 CCHR Approves Updated Disability Rights Regulations to Improve Access for All Individuals
Oct 11, 2016 Chicago Commission on Human Relations Announces New Additions to Staff, Board and Equity Council
May 18, 2016 Mayor Emanuel Introduces Measure to Protect Residents from Discrimination
Feb 10, 2016 City Council Approves Expanded Protections Against Discrimination of Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel

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Supporting Information

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Department Main Office

Commission on Human Relations

  • Phone: 312.744.4111
    Toll Free:
    TTY: 312.744.1088
    Fax: 312.744.1081
  • 740 North Sedgwick Street
    Suite 400
    Chicago, IL 60654   
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