The Commission on Human Relations promotes appreciation of Chicago's diversity and works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination. Commissioners, advisory councils, and staff conduct pro-active programs of education, intervention, and constituency building to discourage bigotry and bring people from different groups together. The Commission enforces the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance and the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance, which prohibit discrimination within the city of Chicago in the following areas:
The Commission investigates discrimination complaints, then if there is substantial evidence of a violation, the Commission conducts an administrative hearing and issues a ruling, which may impose fines, damages, and injunctive relief if a violation was proved. The Commission implements the Hate Crimes Ordinance by monitoring hate crimes in Chicago and aiding victims.
Persons who feel they have been discriminated against in Chicago because of membership in one or more of the following 16 "protected classes" may file a complaint with the Commission:
|National Origin||Marital Status|
|Age (over 40)||Source of Income|
|Credit History (employment only)||Criminal History (employment only)|
A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. Prevailing complainants may receive out-of-pocket damages, emotional distress damages, attorney's fees and costs, and in some cases, punitive damages. A respondent found liable must also pay a fine to the City.