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Local Business

Sexual harassment prevention training mandatory for all Illinois employers

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Illinois employers take note: the new year brought with it new legislation addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

As of Jan. 1, employers must provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to all employees or face fines.

The mandate is part of an omnibus bill called the Workplace Transparency Act which was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last August.

In signing the bill, Pritzker said sexual harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. “This commonsense law makes it clear that the days of turning a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace are over,” he said.

Employers can satisfy training requirements by either utilizing a model training issued by the Illinois Human Rights Act, or implementing their own training.

For those who choose to do the latter, the Act specifies the training must include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the Illinois Human Rights Act; examples of conduct that constitute unlawful sexual harassment; a review of federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and available remedies; and a summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation and corrective measures of sexual harassment.

Noncompliance may subject employers to civil penalties up to $5,000 per offense.

Further, the Act mandates that beginning in July 2020, Illinois employers must annually disclose to the IDHR all adverse judgment or administrative rulings against the employer in the previous year in sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination cases. Employers will have to include whether equitable relief was ordered and give a breakdown of the judgments and rulings. Failure to comply with reporting obligations could result in civil penalties up to $5,000 per offense, depending on employer size and the number of violations.

Employers will have until the end of 2020 to provide the required training to employees.

Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce : 73 W Van Buren Street : Oswego, IL 60543 : 630.554.3505 http://www.oswegochamber.org/