Time is running out. The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act requires all employers to train employees on sexual harassment prevention by December 31, 2020, and on an annual basis thereafter. This requirement applies to all employers with employees working in the State of Illinois. There is no Covid-19 pandemic response reprieve.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Program
Employers must either develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training outlined in Section 2-109(B) of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), or they may use the model training provided by the IDHR at https://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/Training/Pages/State-of-Illinois-Sexual-Harassment-Prevention-Training-Model.aspx
Restaurant and bar employers have additional requirements. In addition to providing the sexual harassment prevention training required under Section 2-109(B), restaurants and bars are required to provide supplemental sexual harassment prevention training that complies with Section 2-110 of the IHRA. Illinois restaurants and bars may also either develop their own supplemental training or utilize the model training provided by the IDHR. The IDHR's supplemental training model for restaurants and bars can also be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/Training/Pages/State-of-Illinois-Sexual-Harassment-Prevention-Training-Model.aspx
Third Party Training
Many of your insurance carriers require as a condition of providing an EPL policy that the company undergo a non-discrimination/harassment training course. While these generally include sexual harassment prevention training, you still must make sure your training from a third party meets or exceeds the IDHR standards, including:
- an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the IHRA;
- 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; and
- a summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment.
Training is not required for independent contractors but highly recommended by the IDHR. It makes good business sense to verify that independent contractors, especially those who are regularly involved in your business have undergone a sexual harassment training program.
Civil Penalties for Failure to Comply
Employers must keep records, including signed statements, of the employees who have completed the training programs.
Civil Penalties are possible for failure to comply. Under the Act, any employer that is in violation of Section 2-109 will be issued a notice to show cause giving the employer 30 days to comply. Failure to comply within 30 days will result in IDHR petitioning the Illinois Human Rights Commission for entry of an order imposing a civil penalty against the employer.
Zoom Format Will Satisfy the Training Requirement
Covid-19 has certainly changed the format of the training, but this training can be easily provided by Zoom. The Illinois IDHR provides slides that can be used in conjunction with the employer presentation.
For more employment changes in 2020, please review other employment related blogs at McKenna Storer including:
- Illinois Employers Need to Be Aware of New Sexual Harassment Protections
- Illinois Requires Mandatory Disclosures Of Sexual Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination Judgments
- Illinois Employers Need to know About The New Laws Governing Employee Arbitration Clauses
- Employers Need to Be Aware of the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act
Please contact Kristin Tauras if you have any questions or would like assistance with Sexual Harassment Prevention Training at firstname.lastname@example.org