APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION
The Human Rights Commission et al., Respondents)
527 N.E.2d 961, 173 Ill. App. 3d 862, 123 Ill. Dec. 323 1988.IL.1202
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Roger J. Kiley, Jr., Judge, presiding.
Rehearing Denied September 16, 1988.
JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. RIZZI and FREEMAN, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA
After the Human Rights Commission (Commission) dismissed petitioner Charles F. Schaefer's age discrimination suit as untimely, petitioner filed suit in the circuit court of Cook County. The trial court found it had no jurisdiction, but transferred the case to this court, where respondents, the Commission, Transportation Media, Inc., and James V. Riley, have moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
In a second case, petitioner appealed directly to this court from the Commission's refusal to amend its original decision. The two appeals were consolidated before this court.
In the first case (87-3083), on May 5, 1986, petitioner filed an age discrimination charge against Transportation Media, which had been petitioner's employer prior to his resignation in January 1986. Petitioner asked that respondents be estopped from relying on the 180-day filing limitation in the Illinois Human Rights Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 68, par. 1-101 et seq.) because petitioner was unaware of his rights when he filed under the Act. Petitioner maintained that Transportation Media was responsible for not informing him of his rights. On November 17, 1986, the Illinois Department of Human Rights dismissed the claim after finding that Transportation Media was not an "employer" under the Act and finding that the claim was untimely because it was not filed within the 180-day limitation period after the alleged discriminatory act occurred.
On April 6, 1987, the Commission upheld the Department's dismissal, finding the charge was untimely filed and that no estoppel applied where petitioner offered no evidence that the employer led him to believe, either by omission or commission, that he had more than 180 days in which to file the charge.
On May 5, 1987, petitioner filed a complaint in the circuit court of Cook County seeking administrative review of the April 6, 1987, Commission order. On June 12, 1987, respondents moved for dismissal of that complaint on the basis that the court lacked jurisdiction because, under the Human Rights Act, exclusive jurisdiction lies in the appellate court. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 68, par. 8-111(3).) The motion to dismiss was pending in the trial court when petitioner filed a new motion with the Commission.
In the second matter (87 -- 3409), on July 27, 1987, petitioner asked the Commission to modify the April 6, 1987, decision. Petitioner sought to add James V. Riley's name to the caption and to offer additional evidence of the employer's duty to notify employees of the 180-day filing limitation.
Meanwhile, in No. 87 -- 3083, on October 1, 1987, the trial court denied respondents' motion to dismiss. The court expressly found it lacked jurisdiction, ...