Did you know that this is only the second time in history that all employers are required to show proof of Illinois sexual harassment training upon request if they have at least 1 employee?
Make sure you are prepared for the upcoming Illinois sexual harassment training deadline and requirements - you don't want to be fined $5,000 per incident!
The deadline to have proof that each of your employees met the 2021 Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention training is by December 31st.
Any later than that and your business risks violations, fines, penalties, and other headaches you want to avoid.
And no - training employees attended in 2019 to fulfill 2020 requirements will not
also fulfill 2021 requirements. Besides following Illinois harassment workplace laws
, studies show that regular sexual harassment training leads to lower rates of harassment incidents and higher productivity at your company.
In this guide with frequently asked questions about Illinois Harassment Training Requirements & Laws, we will cover:
- Latest Sexual Harassment Minimum Training Requirements & Laws in Illinois
- Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)
- Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (IWTA)
- Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR): Enforcement for Illinois Sexual Harassment Training
- What Must Be Included in Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training?
- Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Program Requirements
- Additional Harassment Training Requirements related to the Restaurant And Bar Industries
- Why Non-Employees Should Undergo Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
- How To Transmit & Store Sexual Harassment Training Documentation in Illinois
- Penalties, Fines, and Violations For Failure to Document and Provide Sexual Harassment Training in Illinois
- Conclusion: How You Can Stay Compliant With Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements & Laws
What Are the Latest Sexual Harassment Training Requirements & Laws in Illinois?
Effective January 1, 2020, Illinois mandated harassment training with the 2019 Public Act 101-0221 (
Illinois Senate Bill 75), which introduced new harassment training requirements:
All employers doing business in Illinois must provide annual sexual harassment training with all employees who work within the state of Illinois, and provide detailed documentation of training for each employee upon request, by the end of the calendar year.
Additionally, for license renewals occurring on or after January 1, 2020, the 2018 Public Act 100-0762 (Illinois House Bill 4953) requires licensed professionals with continuing education requirements to engage in a minimum of one hour of sexual harassment prevention training.
These two bills amended the existing IHRA. The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (IWTA) was drafted in SB75 to improve on the IHRA.
What is the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)?
The 2005 Public Act 093-1078
went into effect January 1, 2006, and outlines what is known as the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA).
The Illinois Human Rights Act details and establishes various human rights freedoms for all individuals within Illinois, such as freedoms from unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment.
What is the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (IWTA)?
The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (Illinois Senate Bill 75) was signed into law on August 9, 2019, which amended the Illinois Human Rights Act and enacted major changes to Illinois discrimination and harassment laws.
The IWTA requires that all Illinois employers must train employees on sexual harassment training annually. Documentation must be transmitted to the IDHR upon request to comply with the requirements for employers to provide annual training in Illinois.
Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR): Enforcement for Illinois Sexual Harassment Training
A sexual harassment charge may be initiated by calling, writing or appearing in person at an IDHR office within 300 days of the date the alleged sexual harassment took place.
The IDHR Handout SHP-TR01
is a popular one-page resource promoted by the IDHR that gives a brief outline of the Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
and can easily be printed and distributed around your workplace.
What Must Be Included in Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training?
In Illinois, employers must train sexual harassment prevention for all employers requires:
- A clear explanation of sexual harassment and a summary of employer responsibilities in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment.
- Examples of conduct that constitute harassment in Illinois
- A summary of relevant federal and state statutory concerns of sexual harassment, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment
For ease, employers are encouraged to use the IDHR’s model sexual harassment prevention program. However, employers are allowed to (and should) develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training as outlined in Section 2-109(B)
Additional Harassment Training Requirements for Restaurants And Bars Industries
Restaurants and bars must have additional supplemental sexual harassment prevention training requirements that are unique to deterring sexual harassment in their respective industries.
Additional sexual harassment prevention training requirements for restaurants and bars in Illinois are:
- provide specific conduct, activities, or videos related to the respective restaurant or bar industry
- provide an explanation of sexual harassment manager liability and responsibility under the law
- establish a written sexual harassment prevention policy and provide a copy to their employees within the employee's first calendar week of employment
- provide all training materials in the English and Spanish languages
Why Non-Employees Should Undergo Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Due to how the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act holds employers liable for the harassment of non-employees performing services for the employer under contract, it is highly recommended that independent consultants and contractors attend sexual harassment prevention training.
Even though independent contractors and consultants are not technically your employees, the IWTA treats them like they are when it comes to sexual harassment allegations.
How To Transmit & Store Sexual Harassment Training Documentation in Illinois
At this time, the IDHR doesn't require Illinois employers to certify that they are in compliance with sexual harassment training requirements in Illinois, however, that could change in the future.
The last thing you want when an allegation of sexual harassment arises in your workplace is to not be able to find proof that your employees we properly trained.
In order to have peace of mind for your business, it is recommended to maintain a record of training that can be easily submitted to the IDHR upon request. Typically, a request for your sexual harassment training records will only happen when a sexual harassment charge is initiated via the IDHR.
It is best practice to store your sexual harassment prevention training records in paper or electronic format. Ensure they are well-organized, easily accessible, and able to be transmitted appropriately.
Your business' harassment training records should include all names of employees trained, the name of the training provider dates that training took place, sign-in sheets, copies of certificates of participation, and copies of all training materials.
Penalties, Fines, Violations For Failure to Provide and Document Sexual Harassment Training in Illinois
Any Illinois employers that are in violation of the IHRA or IWTA will be issued a notice to show cause, giving the employers 30 days to comply. It is within the IDHR's authority to extend that compliance date past the initial 30 days.
If an employer fails to comply within 30 days, or by the later date set by the IDHR, the IDHR will petition the Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC) for entry of an order imposing a civil penalty against the employer based on the employer’s size and history of offenses.
Employers with 3 or more employees may face penalties of up to $1,000 for a first offense, up to $3,000 for a second offense, and up to $5,000 for three or more offenses. For employers with less than 3 employees, the maximum fines are $500 (first offense), $1,000 (second offense), and $3,000 (third or more offenses).
Conclusion: How You Can Stay Compliant With Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements & Laws
The easiest and most surefire way to stay in compliance with the 2021 Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in Illinois is to hire a trusted training company with expertise in this area to train your workforce.
This allows you to focus on what you are best at the core functions of your business! Not the training and legalese of sexual harassment laws.
"The company creates engaging, compliant sexual harassment training for employees that meet all local, state, and federal sexual harassment training requirements. EasyLlama provides sexual harassment training that is fast, flexible, and cost-effective, and that’s what most employers need. That’s why we chose EasyLlama as our best sexual harassment training provider...Training is broken down into 10-minute sessions that employees can access 24/7, including from mobile devices."
Reach out if you have any questions about our harassment training program and how it can benefit your workplace, and we would be happy to have a conversation with you!
We look forward to helping make your Illinois business sexual harassment compliant.