On August 24, 2004, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law S.B. 2878 (now Public Act 093-1017), which authorizes the Illinois Attorney General to commence civil actions in state court against employers accused of engaging in a pattern or practice of employment discrimination in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act. Prior to this amendment, the Attorney General was required, like private litigants, to proceed through the standard charge resolution mechanisms of the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and the Human Rights Commission.
Now the Attorney General may bypass these state agencies and proceed directly with his or her own independent investigation of civil rights violations and file suit, in the name of the state, whenever he or she “has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination prohibited by the Act.”
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