May 9, 2021

Volume XI, Number 129

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May 07, 2021

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May 06, 2021

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Illinois Publishes Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Program

On April 28, 2020, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (the “IDHR”) published its model sexual harassment prevention training program, a copy of which is available here.

As we have previously noted, effective January 1, 2020, the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (the “IWTA”) requires Illinois 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 Illinois.

To satisfy this requirement, employers must either use the model training published by the IDHR or develop their own sexual harassment prevention training that includes at least the following minimum requirements:

  • An explanation of prohibited sexual harassment consistent with Illinois law;
  • 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 employers’ responsibilities concerning prevention, investigation, and corrective measures with respect to sexual harassment.

The IDHR’s recently published guidance also reminds employers of their obligation to maintain records related to compliance with these training requirements, such as: sign-in sheets, copies of written or recorded materials, names of employees who attended the training, and certificates of completion or signed employee acknowledgements.

Also, Illinois restaurants and bars, which are subject to additional requirements, are required to provide supplemental training.  The IDHR has not yet published this supplemental training program.

Considering that many Illinois employees are currently working remotely and relying on on-line and virtual communications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is noteworthy that the definition of “sexual harassment” in the Illinois Human Rights Act was recently amended to expressly apply to working environments beyond the physical location at which employees perform their assigned duties.

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© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 120
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About this Author

Steven J Pearlman, Labor Employment Law Firm, Proskauer Law firm
Partner

Steven Pearlman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the firm's Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, resident in the Chicago office. Steven’s practice focuses on defending complex employment litigation involving claims of discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour laws and breaches of restrictive covenants (e.g., non-competition agreements). He has successfully tried cases to verdict before judges and juries in Illinois, Florida and California, and defended what is reported to be the largest Illinois-only class action in the history of the U.S....

312-962-3545
Edward C. Young, Proskauer Rose, Harassment Lawyer, Labor Rights Attorney
Associate

Edward C. Young is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. He represents companies nationwide in a broad range of employment issues, including discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Family Medical Leave Act, as well as other federal and state employment statutes and various common law torts. In addition, Eddie represents employers in trade secret matters and challenges to the independent contractor status of workers.

...

312-962-3595
Caralyn M. Olie Labor and Employment Attorney at Proskauer Law Firm
Associate

Caralyn Olie is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department.

312-962-3588
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