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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

Illinois Attorney General Logo


May 25, 2024

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) applauded the General Assembly’s approval of legislation amending the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) to clarify and strengthen its protections.

“The Illinois Human Rights Act is an important tool for combating discrimination,” Raoul said. “I thank the sponsor and members of the General Assembly for approving these updates to the act, which will allow my office to enhance our efforts protecting the people of Illinois by strengthening enforcement against bad actors and improving processes. I remain committed to defending the civil rights of all Illinois residents.”

House Bill (HB) 5371 is the result of the collaborative efforts of the Attorney General’s office and IDHR. The Attorney General’s office and IDHR enforce the state’s Human Rights Act.

“Illinois leads the nation in protections against discrimination and hate,” said IDHR Director Jim Bennett. “This bill will ensure the Illinois Human Rights Act continues to provide one of the most comprehensive sets of civil rights protections in the country. It will also safeguard Illinoisans’ ability to report discrimination and hate without fear of retribution.”

The legislation will enhance civil rights protections for people in Illinois and provide important clarifications to the law.

Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Align definitions and continue to bring the IHRA into substantial compliance with federal fair housing law.
  • Strengthen relief in discriminatory pattern-and-practice determinations by clarifying the term “per violation,” and increasing the maximum penalty amounts available in court. For example, a business that repeatedly discriminates against multiple employees could be held accountable for each instance of a violation.
  • Clarify that aggrieved parties have the right to take action to collect judgments, even if they do not intervene in the state’s enforcement action.
  • Ensure confidential reporting of discrimination and hate incidents to helplines administered by IDHR and the Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes.

HB 5371 will also reduce redundancies and improve enforcement processes. State Sen. Laura Fine sponsored the bill in the Senate, and State Rep. Ann Williams sponsored it in the House. HB 5371 will now go to the governor’s desk for approval.

“This measure makes important clarifications to the law to enhance protections against discrimination in housing and employment and will help make the implementation of IDHR’s new hate crimes hotline a success,” Fine said.

“HB 5371 cuts red tape and will help victims of harassment and discrimination collect judgments to which they are entitled but have historically had a difficult or impossible time collecting. This will make a real difference in the lives of victims,” Williams said.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Illinois residents. The IHRA grants the Attorney General the authority to investigate broad, systemic problems or incidents of discrimination, referred to as “patterns or practices,” and file suits to remedy such violations. To file a complaint regarding a pattern or practice of discrimination, contact the office’s Civil Rights Bureau by calling 877-581-3692 or emailing

IDHR is committed to securing freedom from unlawful discrimination for all Illinois residents.  Any Illinoisan who believes they have been a victim of discrimination can file a charge with IDHR within 300 days of the date of the incident or within one year of a housing violation. To file a charge with IDHR, call (312) 814-6200 or visit Illinoisans can also report hate incidents by calling (877) 458-4283 or by visiting