With COVID-19 news taking center stage in our lives, it is easy to push aside Illinois’ new Workplace Transparency Act enacted to protect employees against sexual harassment.
The Illinois Human Rights Act makes it a civil rights violation “[f]or any employer, employee, agent of any employer, employment agency or labor organization to engage in sexual harassment.” 775 ILCS 5/2-102(D).
Most Illinois businesses will reopen and employees will eventually be back to work but even for the employees working remotely, sexual harassment may still occur.
The 2020 Sexual Harassment Model Guidelines
As previously reported on the McKenna Storer blog, in 2020 all Illinois employers must provide the first yearly sexual harassment prevention training. Section 2-109 of the Illinois Human Rights Act requires Illinois employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training by December 31, 2020, and then annually thereafter.
Illinois’ legislature has not pushed back the December 31, 2020 requirement for completion of this mandatory training. To the contrary, during the COVID 19 shutdown, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Institute for Training and Development, created and published an Illinois model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training program in PowerPoint format as well as PDF. These can be viewed at the Illinois Department of Human Rights website
The 2020 Sexual Harassment Model Guidelines PowerPoint and PDF are not a substitute for what must be an interactive training event – they just create a foundation from which an employer must still create and provide specific training for their workforce.
Who Must Be Trained
All employees, without exception, must be trained by the end of year.
Every employer in the State of Illinois is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training that complies with section 2-109 of the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”).
Every employer, of at least one employee, must provide sexual harassment prevention training.
All employees regardless of their status (i.e. short-term, part-time, or intern) must be trained.
If an employer has an independent contractor working on-site with the employer’s staff, the independent contractor should receive sexual harassment prevention training as well.
Although working remotely to promote safety from the virus, the McKenna Firm remains open and ready to assist you with all your insurance coverage, business, transactional, employment and litigation needs as well as your personal financial planning needs.
If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Tauras at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kristin devotes a significant portion of her practice to employment litigation.