September 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 270

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September 26, 2022

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New Chicago Ordinance on Sexual Harassment Takes Effect

The new Chicago Ordinance on sexual harassment, effective July 1, 2022, requires that an employer maintaining a business facility within the geographic boundaries of Chicago must have a written policy—including a conspicuously displayed notice poster in English and Spanish—documenting the prohibition of sexual harassment.

The written policy must include the following features:

  1. A statement that sexual harassment is illegal in Chicago.

  2. Definition of sexual harassment as defined in section 6-10-020, which adds that sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and sexual misconduct, meaning any behavior of a sexual nature which also involves coercion, abuse of authority, or misuse of an individual’s employment position.

  3. Requirement that all employees participate in sexual harassment prevention training annually (minimum of one hour). Anyone supervising/managing employees must participate in a minimum of two hours of training annually.

  4. Requirement that all employees participate in one hour of bystander training annually.

  5. Examples of prohibited conduct that constitutes sexual harassment (the ordinance does not provide examples).

  6. Details on (1) how an individual can report sexual harassment, including instructions on how to make a confidential report with a form, to a manager, the employer’s headquarters, the Human Resources department, or another internal reporting mechanism; and (2) how legal services, including governmental, are available to employees who may be victims of harassment.

  7. Statement that retaliation for reporting sexual harassment is illegal in Chicago.

This written policy must be retained for five years. The policy must be provided in the employee’s primary language within one week of their start date. When administering the required training, the employer can use the model sexual harassment prevention training program prepared by the State of Illinois required under 775 ILCS 5/2-109 or it may have its own prevention training program that is equal to or exceeds the Illinois law. Evidence of training, including slides and other materials, must be retained for five years.

Chicago recently released its model training slides and model written notices, which can be found here and here.

© 2022 McDermott Will & EmeryNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 189
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About this Author

Brian Mead, McDermott Law Firm, Chicago, Labor and Employment Attorney
Associate

Brian Mead focuses his practice on various labor and employment issues. He defends employers, before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, in individual and class action litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and other employment laws, including discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, and breach of contract claims. Additionally, Brian has experience in prosecuting and defending employee mobility...

312-984-6908
Dawn M. Peacock Attorney Employment Law McDermott Will Emery Chicago
Associate

Dawn M. Peacock is an employment advisor and litigator. She regularly defends employers in all phases of single-plaintiff and class action litigation in state and federal court. Dawn also regularly handles employment-related agency matters. Her practice focuses on discrimination and retaliation. She has particular experience with claims brought under the ADA, ADEA, Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and data protection laws.

Dawn’s pro bono practice includes directing diversity efforts with a focus on addressing individuals who are...

312-803-7030
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