If you feel discrimination is happening, the first thing you should do is contact the Commission.
Initial inquiries are treated confidentially. Tell us what happened, when, and why you feel you were treated differently. We may be able to suggest ways you can resolve the situation yourself, we may make an informal contact, or you may decide to file a charge of discrimination. (See form to the right.)
No, you do not need an attorney; however, you may hire an attorney to represent you if you wish.
Idaho law requires that an administrative complaint be filed with the IHRC before a discrimination lawsuit can be filed. An administrative complaint may be drafted by an individual, by a lawyer, or by a commission staff member based on information provided by an individual.
Federal and state laws make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against someone for asserting civil rights by filing a charge. The IHRC notifies the organization named in a complaint of this provision of the law when it serves a charge.
The laws that protect against retaliation mean only that an action should not be taken against someone because he or she filed a complaint. Employees still are subject to disciplinary actions for other reasons. For instance, if an employee disobeys company rules after filing a charge, he or she can be disciplined by an employer in the same manner as that employer treats others.
A complaint is served immediately upon the organization, so they have an opportunity to know exactly what accusations are being made and to explain their side of the story. The IHRC’s job is to conduct a neutral fact-finding investigation, asking for information and evidence from both parties. The evidence is summarized and submitted to commissioners (appointed by the Governor) who decide the merits of the case. Legal issues are resolved with guidance from a deputy attorney general assigned to the IHRC.
Not from the IHRC. Our staff will talk to third parties about the charge only as necessary to conduct an investigation or otherwise process the case.
Furthermore, the IHRC encourages the parties to also keep the complaint confidential. Cases are very difficult to resolve and/or investigate when the matter is being discussed in a public forum or with outside groups.
The IHRC attempts to provide information to fit the special needs of an organization that seeks its assistance. This includes information on the law and videotapes on various aspects of equal employment opportunity, including sexual harassment and disability discrimination. Businesses may also learn how to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities Any organization or group interested in knowing more about Idaho civil rights law may request a presentation.
The complaint or charge of discrimination form is a 7 page PDF. Some pages may not apply to your situation.
You will need to print the form, fill it out legibly and mail it to our office (our address is on the form). If you have questions or would like to talk about your complaint, please contact us.
Complaint Form [PDF]
Mediation services are available at little or no cost. About 20% of the cases are settled on this “no-fault” basis. This is an opportunity for parties to settle a dispute on their own terms.
When a charge is filed, the charge will go through an internal process from beginning to end. This process may take up to one year from the filing date to complete.
Learn more about the Complaint Resolution Process