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Illinois Now Requires All Employers to Train Employees on Anti-Harassment
By Evan Manning, IIA of IL Government Relations Manager

February 3, 2020 Update - click here. Original article below.

On August 9, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a comprehensive omnibus legislation, SB 75 (P.A. 101-0221) which takes aim at preventing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. The omnibus legislation, whichwent into effect on January 1, 2020, imposes significant new responsibilities on employers. 

The new law creates the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), the Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act, and the Casino Employee Safety Act and amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA). 

While the new law incorporates several requirements on employers the most significant changes for independent agents is the requirement that ALL employers must, at minimum, include:

  1. an explanation of sexual harassment;
  2. examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment; 
  3. a summary of relevant state and federal laws prohibiting sexual harassment and the remedies for violations of these laws; and 
  4. a summary of the employer’s responsibility to prevent, investigate, and correct sexual harassment.

The amendment requires the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) to create a model training program and make it available online at no cost to employers. The amendment does not set a date by which the IDHR is to post its training, nor does it make clear whether the training program to be created by the IDHR will be a complete video or web-based training module that employers can use “as-is,” or merely a set of training materials that employers will be able to use for their training programs. IIA of IL will keep you updated when more information is made available.

Under the WTA, the law prohibits employers from interfering with employees reporting unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation (jointly referred to as unlawful employment practices under the Act). It addresses many aspects of workplace discrimination and harassment, including limiting non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses, limiting arbitration agreements, mandating sexual harassment training, expanding protection to non-employees (which includes contractors, subcontractors, vendors, and consultants), and requiring annual disclosures. Employers who do not comply with the reporting and training requirements may be subject to monetary penalties. 

Key Insights for Employers

  • Employers should be prepared to implement the new required training in 2020 and each year thereafter.
  • While there are still good reasons to train employees before the new law takes effect on January 1, 2020, it is not clear whether such training will count toward compliance with the law.
  • The model training programs to be provided by the IDHR will meet minimum requirements under the law, but employers should strongly consider supplementing that content with additional training as part of a comprehensive initiative to create a respectful working environment.
  • In particular, employers should train all managers, supervisors, senior leaders, and governing board members regarding their particular responsibilities for preventing and responding to workplace harassment.

Update on Anti-Harassment Training Law - February 3, 2020
By Evan Manning, IIA of IL Government Relations Manager

The following is an update concerning Public Act 101-0221 (commonly referred to as the Workplace Transparency Act), a law that requires Illinois employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to their employees on an annual basis, regardless of the size of the company.

Under Public Act 101-0221, Illinois employers have until December 31, 2020, to train employees on sexual harassment prevention. The Act provides minimum standards that must be included in the training. To assist your organization in complying with this new law, the IDHR has posted the following information on its website:

  • A FAQ for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
  • Minimum Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Standards for All Employers
  • Minimum Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Standards for Restaurants and Bars
  • Minimum Standards for Policy on Sexual Harassment Prevention for Restaurants and Bars

The IDHR is in the process of developing a model sexual harassment prevention training program for use by employers, as mandated under this new law. The new training program will be available to the public in February 2020.

Special Requirement for Restaurants & Bars: Restaurants and bars, as defined by Section 2-110 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, are required to establish and disseminate a written policy on sexual harassment prevention and provide all employees with an annual “supplemental” sexual harassment prevention training. This requirement is in addition to the training requirement described above for all employers. The IDHR is developing a model policy that will be available in February 2020.

For more information please visit IDHR’s website at