All employers in Illinois must provide sexual harassment prevention training once a year starting January 1, 2020. Chicago announced in May 2022, that it will change its requirements for harassment prevention training. See below a summary of these requirements.
- The City of Chicago requires that all employees receive 1 hour of sexual harassment training every year and that supervisors receive 2 hours. Meeting these requirements will also satisfy Illinois sexual harassment training requirements
- In addition, employers need to provide an hour of bystander intervention training every year for all employees working in Chicago
- These new requirements went into effect on July 1, 2022, and employers need to meet these requirements by June 30, 2023, and annually every year after that
- The City of Chicago clarified that “The training requirement applies for all employees who work in Chicago, even if remote, and their managers or supervisors, even if the managers or supervisors work outside of Chicago.”
Are there any relevant Illinois laws I should know about? (3)
Public Act 101-0221 (titled the Workplace Transparency Act)/ S.B. 75/ Section 2-109 of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)
What is the current status of the law?
The Workplace Transparency Act was signed by the Governor on August 9, 2019 and is effective January 1, 2020.
What companies must provide training?
“Every employer with employees working in this State [Illinois]”. (1)
Who must be trained?
All employees. (2)
When is the first training deadline?
The Act is effective January 1, 2020 and employees must be trained every year so it would appear the deadline for first training is December 31st, 2020.
What are the minimum training requirements?
- An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with SB 75
- Examples of conduct that constitute unlawful sexual harassment
- A summary of relevant Federal and State statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment
- A summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment
- There is no time requirement specified
- The bill does not call for different training for supervisors and employees
Restaurants and bars must also include training on:
- Specific conduct, activities, or videos related to the restaurant or bar industry
- An explanation of manager liability and responsibility under the law
- English and Spanish language options
- Note: Restaurant and bar employers will also now be required to provide a written sexual harassment policy to all new employees during the first calendar week of their employment
Requirements specific to hotels and casinos:
- A section of SB 75 is referred to as the “Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act”
- There is no specific harassment prevention training requirements required under this section
- However, it specifies that each hotel employer and casino employer “shall develop, maintain, and comply with a written anti-sexual harassment policy to protect employees against sexual assault and sexual harassment by guests.”
- Additionally, “each hotel and casino will provide certain employees with safety or notification device which can be used to summons help if employee reasonably believes that an ongoing crime, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other emergency is occurring in the employee’s presence.”
- An “Employer has the same meaning as set forth in Section 2-101 of the Illinois Human Right Act”. The IDHR Frequently Asked Questions further clarified that Employers with at least 1 employee must provide the training.
- “Employee” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 2-101 of the Illinois Human Rights Act. This definition includes, but is not limited to, “any individual performing services for remuneration within this State for an employer”, apprentices and unpaid interns. The IDHR Frequently Asked Questions further clarified that Employers are required to train all employees in Illinois, including short-term and part-time employees, and interns but are not required to train independent contractors, although are strongly advised to train independent contractors who will work on-site at the employer’s workplace or interact with the employer’s staff. Employers are required to train any employee who will perform work or regularly interact with the Employer’s employees in Illinois, even if based in another state
- S.B. 75 created the Public Act 101-0221 (titled the Workplace Transparency Act)which amended Section 2-109 of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)
- Employers are encouraged to retrain their new employees, regardless of whether the employee received the required training at a prior place of employment. Employers must independently retain their own records to show that all employees received the required sexual harassment prevention training. Employers may ask employees to provide documentation that they completed the training elsewhere. However, employers are responsible for ensuring the training received elsewhere is compliant with the IHRA. If the employer is unable to obtain the proper documentation, employers must have the employee retrained. Again, the employer is responsible for demonstrating all employees completed the annual training