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Legislative Update: Key Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act New Employee Rights and New Requirements for Employers

On June 8, 2018 and August 24, 2018 respectively, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a number of amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act which in the State of Illinois regulates discrimination claims due to a protected category, disability or sexual harassment claims.

New Employee Rights

  • The time to file a charge before the Illinois Human Rights Department (IDHR) increased from 180 days to 300 days.
  • Employees have the right to opt out of the investigation process at the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and sue in state court. The request for opt-out must be made within 60 days from notice by the IDHR and the IDHR has 10 business days to issue the notice of the right to sue.

New Employer Requirements

Employers must post the Illinois Department of Human Rights Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace poster. Click here to download a copy of the poster.

Employers must also include the content of this notice in their employee handbook policies on sexual harassment and discrimination. This means that company sexual harassment and discrimination policies in employee handbooks must be amended to include information about reporting discrimination to the IDHR in filing a charge as well as information about the Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Help line number of 877-236-7703. Finally, employee handbooks must include a statement that employees may request a reasonable accommodation due to disability or pregnancy.

Questions? Need help re-working your employee handbooks to follow these new requirements? Contact attorney Tony Caruso in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by e-mail at

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