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Employers Take Heed: Discrimination Laws Are Not the Same Everywhere

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discrimination laws employers human rights employment lawEmployers that lose discrimination and other cases before the Illinois Human Rights Commission must meet a little-known requirement before filing an appeal.

According to Illinois courts, employers must first ask the commission to reconsider every ruling in an employee's favor. If not met, this condition, which stems from the need under Illinois law to exhaust all administrative remedies available before appealing to the local circuit court, can trap an employer and doom an appeal.

For the past few years, employees alleging discrimination under state law have had the option of either filing a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or filing a lawsuit in court. Previously, employees had to file charges with the IDHR and try their cases before the commission.

Many employees, however, still elect to file an IDHR charge instead of suing in court. Once an employee chooses this non-judicial route, Illinois law requires that both the employee and the employer exhaust all administrative remedies available.

The IDHR first conducts an informal hearing to learn about the facts and decide whether sufficient evidence exists that discrimination may have occurred. If the IDHR determines that it does, then an administrative law judge at the commission holds a trial in which both the employee and the employer present all available evidence.

After the trial, the judge makes a recommended decision to a three-member panel of the commission. That panel then issues a final order, which is equivalent to a verdict in court.

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Robert Neiman

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HCX Facts

Healthcare Costs grew a cumulative 138% between 1999 and 2010 and outpacing cumulative wage growth of 42% over the same period. Average employer costs for health insurance per employee hour rose from $1.60 to $3.35 during the 1999 to 2010 period. This almost 110% increase in average costs per hour was  much larger than the 39% increase in average employer payroll costs per hour for these workers  KFF


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