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STATE LAW MANDATES

Illinois Annual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement SB 75

 

The MeToo movement has brought significant changes to state law throughout the US. New York and California have passed new harassment prevention training requirements over the last year. Illinois is the newest state to pass legislation that requires that every employer with employees in the state provide annual harassment prevention training. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill on August 9, 2019, with an effective date of January 1, 2020. 

Here at Impact Compliance, we know how challenging it can be to meet state law training mandates and provide this critical education to all employees annually. We put together a great summary below of the new requirements in Illinois.

We know how difficult it can be to train employees that aren't sitting in front of a desk. Our courses can be provided to employees that don't have computer or email access. Our unique self-registration process allows courses to be deployed by access code on a smartphone, tablet, or computer kiosk. We've created an innovative training model that can be used for any employee regardless of technology restrictions. Please click the free trial button if you would like to learn more. 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL EMPLOYERS

Illinois state legislators have found that the organizational tolerance of sexual harassment has a detrimental influence in workplaces by creating a hostile environment for employees, reducing productivity, and increasing legal liability. It is their intent to encourage employers 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. 

The Illinois Department of Human Rights shall produce a model sexual harassment prevention training program aimed at the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Starting January 1, 2020, every employer with employees working in Illinois shall use the model sexual harassment prevention training program or establish its own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards. The sexual harassment prevention training shall be provided at least once a year to all employees and new hires must be trained within 90 days. This model program shall include, at a minimum, the following:

  • An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the Act
  • Examples of conduct that constitutes 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

SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAIING REQUIREMENTS FOR RESTAURANTS

Starting July 1, 2020, every restaurant and bar operating in Illinois must have a sexual harassment policy provided to all employees, in writing, within the first calendar week of the employee's employment. The policy shall include: 

1) a prohibition on sexual harassment; 

2) the definition of sexual harassment under the Illinois Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 

3) details on how an individual can report an allegation of sexual harassment internally, including options for making a confidential report to a manager, owner, corporate headquarters, human resources department, or other internal reporting mechanism that may be available; 

4) an explanation of the internal complaint process available to employees; 

5) how to contact and file a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; 

6) a prohibition on retaliation for reporting sexual harassment allegations; and 

7) a requirement that all employees participate in sexual harassment prevention training. The policy shall be made available in English and Spanish. 

In addition to the model sexual harassment prevention training program produced by the Department of Human Rights, the Department shall develop a supplemental model training program in consultation with industry professionals specifically aimed at the prevention of sexual harassment in the restaurant and bar industry. The training shall include: 

1) specific conduct, activities, or videos related to SB0075 for the restaurant or bar industry; 

2) an explanation of manager liability and responsibility under the law; and 

3) English and Spanish language options. 

Every restaurant and bar that is an employer under the requirement shall use the supplemental model training program or establish its own supplemental model training program that equals or exceeds the requirements. The supplemental training program shall be provided at least once a year to all employees, regardless of employment classification. For the purposes of satisfying the requirements, this supplemental training may be done in conjunction or at the same time as any training that complies with the mandates

PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO TRAIN

If an employer violates the training requirement, the Department of Human Rights shall issue a notice to show cause giving the employer 30 days to comply. If the employer does not comply within 30 days, the Department shall petition the Human Rights Commission for entry of an order imposing a civil penalty against the employer.

Civil penalties for failure to train include:

For an employer with fewer than 4 employees: a penalty not to exceed $500 for a first offense; a penalty not to exceed $1,000 for a second offense; a penalty not to exceed $3,000 for a third or subsequent offense. 

For an employer with 4 or more employees: a penalty not to exceed $1,000 for a first offense; a penalty not to exceed $3,000 for a second offense; a penalty not to exceed $5,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

NEXT STEPS

COMPLY WITH ILLINOIS SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWS

Impact Compliance knows it's not just about meeting compliance mandates. It's about creating a respectful and inclusive environment where every employee can excel and feel safe.

To create a workplace free of harassment and discrimination, contact us about our online and in-person sexual harassment prevention training courses. Our program is impactful, engaging, and is tailored to Illinois training mandates. Contact us to launch our training solution in your organization today.

If you would like to learn more about our interactive online and in-person compliance training, click the button below for a free course trial.