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Illinois General Assembly Passes Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)

OutSolve

Illinois Human Rights Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights reshaped to increase transparency and efficiency

  1. House Bill 4572 – redefines the employer thresholds for liability under the Act to any employers with one or more employees for at least 20 weeks during the year. The measure is currently waiting signature by the Governor.

  2. Senate Bill 20 – amends the IHRA to provide new powers to complainants including longer filing periods from 180 days to 300 days. Complainants may now opt out of an IDHR investigation within 60 days after filing a charge to commence an action in Circuit Court. The bill also reshapes the Commission and addresses the handling of a current backlog of claims. It also provides new requirements for how claims are processed, litigated, decided, and published to create more transparency in the Commission. The bill was unanimously passed by both chambers of the Assembly.

  3. Proposed Senate Bill 577 – expands employer liability and sets reporting and notice requirements for claims of sexual harassment. The draft Bill has not passed either chamber of the Assembly. As written, independent contractors will be entitled the same protections under the IHRA. The Bill also expands the definition of sexual harassment to include “an individual’s actual or perceived sex or gender” and increases the charge filing period to two years. Public contractors and large employers will have to report annually the number of settlements that enter into or adverse judgments against them associated with sexual harassment or discrimination. This reporting will allow the IDHR to initiate an investigation of repeat violators.

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