The Illinois Human Rights Act was amended on August 9, 2019 to mandate an expansion of sexual harassment training requirements.
Beginning January 1, 2020, all employers in Illinois, regardless of size, must train all employees and managers on sexual harassment prevention every year.
The annual training program must include:
- An explanation of sexual harassment
- Examples and scenarios that portray unlawful sexual harassment
- A summary of federal and state statutory provisions, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment
- An explanation of the responsibilities of employers for prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment
- The sexual harassment prevention training may be provided in a classroom setting, through interactive e-learning, or a live webinar
Additionally, owners of restaurants and bars are now required to provide sexual harassment training annually to all employees (regardless of employee classification). The training must be available in both English and Spanish.
Penalties for Not Complying
Employers who do not provide compliant training will be subject to fines:
- $500 for businesses with less than four employees
- $1,000 for businesses with four or more employees.
Penalties for subsequent violations can rise to as much as $5,000 per violation.
Additionally, employers who don’t provide the required training will have a more difficult time defending themselves in the event of a sexual harassment lawsuit. They will be unable to demonstrate that they took “reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment from occurring.
Ryley Learning offers an e-learning course that complies with Illinois’ sexual harassment prevention training requirements. The core course is designed for corporate-wide training and includes animated episodes, real-life scenarios, and interactive activities to ensure understanding.