Illinois Department of Human Rights Mediation
In Illinois if you are the victim of discrimination you can file a complaint directly with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). One of the great things about filing directly with the IDHR is a program they have on mediation. If both parties agree, the IDHR will assign the case to a mediator and try to get both parties together to settle the case. Many of you will wonder why should you let the case go to mediation. The fact of the matter is most cases settle at some point prior to a trial. Given that fact, why wait to settle when you can settle early. There are many risks with delay. For example the company could file for bankruptcy, you could move across the country or you could even die. Remember, a case will take four or five years before you receive any money if it isn't settled prior to trial.
My Chicago office handles a large number of sexual harassment cases and many times the company doesn't want the details coming out. You can imagine some of the steamy details that may emerge in such cases. Additionally, the company will have to spend money on a lawyer defending the case. So there are reasons why both sides will want an early resolution of the case. It helps to have an experienced employment attorney who practices before the IDHR and has many cases at that venue. Remember there are very strict time limits for filing your initial complaint with the IDHR so consult an attorney as soon as possible to protect your employment and civil rights.