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New Sexual Harassment Illinois Requirements Effective in 2020

According to the Illinois Human Rights Act, no employee should be sexually harassed or unlawfully discriminated when it comes to seeking employment. Since January 2020, employers are now required to adopt measures to curb sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers will now be required to offer sexual harassment training to all employees annually.

Starting from 1st January 2020, the Workplace Transparency Act (Senate Bill 75), which is an all-inclusive piece of legislation applicable to all Illinois employers, comes into effect.

The following are some of the Illinois Human Rights Act training requirements:

  • It is a requirement for Illinois employers to educate their employees and supervisors about the measures to curb sexual harassment in the workplace every year.
  • Employees working in bars and restaurants have to be provided with sexual harassment education that is customized to their industry, and the written sexual harassment policy should be in Spanish and English.
  • Training has to be interactive and, if possible, surpass the model training standards to be set up by the Illinois Department of Human Rights model though it is yet to be made available.

Additional training should be interactive and should at least comprise the following:

  • An explanation of what sexual harassment is
  • Behaviors that are categorized as unlawful sexual harassment
  • Definition of harassment centered on sex
  • Acts or behaviors considered as harassment based on sex
  • An overview of state and federal laws barring sexual harassment, harassment centered on sex, and all remedies available to victims of sexual harassment 
  • Instances of proper and improper behavior by supervisors
  • The role played by employers to curb, investigate and resolve sexual harassment cases

Roles of managers and supervisors:

The training should outline the roles of managers and supervisors to curb sexual harassment.

Some of the responsibilities include:

  • Abstaining from sexual harassment and discrimination acts
  • Respecting other employees in the workplace
  • Reporting severe complaints to the person in charge of these issues
  • Taking the necessary action to any notable misconduct and getting it to report to the relevant department
  • Encouraging employees to report cases of sexual harassment and discrimination
  • Solving and reporting incidents of retaliation

Employers should also think of other elements to make training informative and relevant. The use of images, realistic video scenarios, problems, and eLearning activities to improve engagement and encourage positive behaviors. Online training is effective, considering the increase in the number of workers working in remote areas and can increase the possibilities of employees accessing training.

For sexual harassment training to be considered effective, it should include other topics such as inclusion, diversity, not forgetting unconscious bias. Such topics create awareness on how employees should conduct themselves while respecting the rights of their colleagues. This helps to curb possible misconduct before it turns into unlawful harassment.

Illinois has joined Delaware, California, Maine, New York, Connecticut states in enacting laws to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. The Workplace Transparency Act, which has already been effected since 1st January, demands both public and private employers to educate the employees about sexual harassment on an annual basis. Restaurant and bar industry employers are required to provide sexual harassment training that is tailored to their industry. EasyLlama is your solution to comply with all the latest regulations in Illinois and provide effective and engaging training to employees.

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