What Can I Get If I Win?


What am I entitled to if I prove my claim?


Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, if you prove your claim, you can get your job back, stop a transfer, recover backpay, any lost benefits, seniority, attorney and expert witness costs in addition to possible emotional distress damages. The employer will also pay civil penalties between $10,000 to $50,000 and be made to submit reports detailing how it is complying with the ruling. Awards of interest on the complainant's actual damages from the date of the civil rights violation is also recoverable.


What are damages for emotional distress?


Emotional distress is emotional harm and/or mental suffering. Illinois law allows for compensation for emotional distress under the "actual damages" provision of the Human Rights Act.


What are attorney and expert witness costs?


First, you do not need an attorney for any part of the process in filing a discrimination claim. If you choose to have an attorney represent you and you win your claim before the Human Rights Commission, you can recover costs for your attorney and expert witnesses.


If I am not satisfied with the result, can I appeal?


Yes. You can ask for a review of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) decision within 30 days. The HRC then reviews its own decision. If you want to appeal the HRC decision to state court, you have 35 days from the date you received the commission's final decision. Your appeal of the HRC's decision will be reviewed in the Illinois Appellate Court.



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