Human Rights Commission Orders $30,000 from Fair Housing Violator
CHICAGO, IL â€“ The Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has ordered over $30,000 in penalties and damages from a Chicago-based housing company in a sexual orientation discrimination complaint brought by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), both state agencies announced today.
The complaint, filed after an IDHR investigation and determination, alleged that an agent of TempHomes Realty, LLC acted in a discriminatory manner towards a same-sex couple during a real estate transaction. After renting an apartment through a corporate housing agency (the complainant), the couple found numerous issues that made the unit not suitable for occupancy. During an email exchange, the agent made discriminatory statements in reference to the coupleâ€™s sexual orientation and denied them a refund. In its final order and decision, IHRC agreed that these actions and statements represented a civil rights violation under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
â€œI am proud that our department has taken such a proactive role in investigating and representing this complaint before the Human Rights Commission,â€ said IDHR Director Rocco Claps. â€œThis outcome reaffirms our strong commitment to enforcing the laws that protect against housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.â€
An IHRC Administrative Law Judge has ordered that the complainant be awarded approximately $20,000 in damages and attorney fees. Additionally, both respondents are required to pay a $5,000 civil penalty to the Illinois State Treasurer. They have been further ordered to cease and desist from any further Fair Housing violations and to publicly post the requirements of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
â€œThe Commission is dedicated to securing for all Illinois citizens freedom from discrimination, and we are proud to be a part of this process,â€ IHRC Chair Rose Mary Bombela-Tobias said. â€œThe case demonstrates the importance for all citizens who have been victims of discrimination to step forward and file a charge and work with the Department and Commission to ensure their rights are vindicated.â€
If you are suspicious of housing discrimination, IDHR suggests keeping a record of any meetings and phone calls, including names, addresses, receipts, and notes on what was said. For more information, please contact IDHRâ€™s Fair Housing Division at (312)-814-6229 or visit http://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/FilingaCharge/Pages/Housing.aspx.
The Illinois Human Rights Act protects individuals from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), national origin, ancestry, age (40 and over), marital status, disability, military status, familial status, sexual orientation (including gender identity) or unfavorable military discharge.Â Further information is available at www.illinois.gov/dhr