Illinois Employers Must Conduct Sexual Harassment Training by 12/31/20

Last year Illinois enacted the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), which requires employers provide sexual harassment training to employees. In Illinois, it is a civil rights violation for any employer to engage in sexual harassment, and due to the Illinois General Assembly’s finding that tolerance of sexual harassment has a detrimental influence on the workplace environment, employers are encouraged to adopt and actively implement policies to ensure their workplaces are safe for employees to report concerns about sexual harassment without fear of retaliation, loss of status, or loss of promotional opportunities.

For All Employers:

Training must occur at least once per year, and failure to provide training subjects an employer to fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 for first offenses, $3,000 for second offenses, and $5,000 for third offenses. The law covers any employer who has at least one employee, and covers all employees, including those only working part-time. To avoid enforcement of these fines, it is recommended that employers have each employee sign a certificate of completion for the employer to keep as part of their records. 

The State of Illinois Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Program for all employers can be found here, but the training must, at a minimum, meet four requirements: 

  1. It must define the various types of harassment such as quid quo pro and hostile work environment harassment; 
  2. The training must provide samples of harassment; 
  3. It must summarize the relevant statutory provision governing harassment and the remedies to employees covering harassment; and
  4. The training must explain the employer’s obligations to prevent, investigate, and take appropriate corrective action against harassment.

For Restaurants and Bars:

In addition to the above requirements for all employees, restaurants and bars must provide supplemental training by developing their own training program or utilizing the model training program provided by the IDHR. The Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training For Bars & Restaurants can be found here, but at a minimum, the supplemental training must include: 

  1. Specific conduct, activities, or videos related to the restaurant or bar industry;
  2. An explanation of manager liability and responsibility under the law; and
  3. English and Spanish language options.

Should you have any questions regarding the above requirements as they apply to you or your business, please contact us. 

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