Sexual Harassment Training Illinois

All employers must provide annual sexual harassment prevention training.

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    Illinois Sexual Harassment Training

    Illinois is one of a growing number of states requiring employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to their workforce. Implementing an anti-harassment training program is more than just complying with the law. The right training program – and with the active support of leadership – is an effective tool to raise awareness of harassment and its consequences, while fostering positive behaviors that are the foundation of a safe, respectful workplace.

    IL State Training Requirements
    Since January 1, 2020, all organizations with employees working in the State of Illinois are required to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to their staff. Restaurants and bars doing business in Illinois have additional training requirements.

    Under the Workplace Transparency Act:

    • Employers must train all employees, including short-term and part-time employees and interns on an annual basis.
    • New employees should be trained as soon as possible upon hire.
    • Restaurants and bars must provide supplemental training to employees, in English and Spanish.

    Required Training Topics
    Training programs should be interactive and at a minimum include:

    • An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with Illinois law.
    • Examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment.
    • A summary of relevant federal and state laws concerning sexual harassment, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.
    • A summary of employers’ responsibilities to prevent and investigate sexual harassment and take corrective measures.
    • For Restaurants and Bars, the supplemental training must include at a minimum:
      • Specific conduct, activities, or videos related to the restaurant or bar industry.
      • An explanation of manager liability and responsibility under the law.
      • English and Spanish language options.

    Chicago Training Requirements

    The City of Chicago recently passed legislation that exceeds the state training requirements. Effective July 1, 2022, all employers must provide Chicago employees with both annual sexual harassment and bystander intervention training.

    Under Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance, the new training requirements include:

    • A minimum of one (1) hour of sexual harassment prevention training for all employees.
    • A minimum of two (2) hours of sexual harassment prevention training for anyone who supervises or manages employees.
    • One (1) hour of bystander training for all employees.
    • Training is annual and must be provided to employees within the first calendar week of employment.
    • Employee must complete their first round of annual training by June 30, 2023.

    The City of Chicago plans to provide additional guidance and materials on or by July 1st, 2022.

    Traliant’s Preventing Discrimination & Harassment: Illinois & Chicago Edition

    Traliant’s Illinois Edition enables organizations to meet the sexual harassment training requirements under the Workplace Transparency Act in a modern, interactive format designed for today’s diverse workforce. Topics are explored in bite-sized episodes, featuring interactive video scenarios depicting sexual harassment, discrimination, bystander intervention and diversity and inclusion.

    The Illinois Edition is available in versions for employees (35 min) and managers (60 min), with multi-language options.

    Traliant’s Chicago Edition is designed to help organizations meet the City of Chicago’s annual sexual harassment training requirements. The Chicago Edition is available in versions for employees (60 min) and managers (120 min), and available in 7 industry versions in both English and Spanish.

    Additionally, Traliant’s Bystander Intervention Chicago Edition is available to help meet the City of Chicago’s additional bystander intervention training requirement. This 60-min course provides employees with techniques for safely disrupting, confronting and reporting harassing behavior and explains how to effectively support targets of misconduct to create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace.

    An IDFPR CEC edition is also available. This interactive course fulfills the requirement that all licensed professionals regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) complete annual sexual harassment prevention training. Approved by the IDFPR, this course provides licensed professionals with 1.0 CE credits and is available in versions for employees and managers, and in multiple languages.

    Sexual Harassment Training for Illinois Restaurants

    Traliant’s Illinois Edition for Restaurants & Bars contains additional material required under the Workplace Transparency Act, including specific conduct, activities or videos related to the restaurant or bar industry. The course features interactive videos depicting harassment and discrimination situations that restaurant employees may encounter, whether they work in the front or back of the house.

    The course is available in versions for employees and managers, and offered in English, Spanish and many other languages.

    The Traliant Difference in Sexual Harassment Training

    We believe that sexual harassment training should be part of a holistic approach to combating workplace harassment and creating a respectful, inclusive culture. Our award-winning courses comply with state training requirements, while providing an engaging learning experience for a diverse, mobile workforce.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Which employers must train employees?

    Employers with one (1) or more employees actively working in Illinois must provide sexual harassment training to all employees that meets the requirements for training outlined in the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA).

    Who must be trained?

    Training must be provided to all supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, including short-term employees, part-time employees, and interns.

    When is the training deadline?

    The initial deadline for training was December 31, 2020. Employers are required to train every employee each calendar year.

    When should new employees be trained?

    New employees should be trained shortly after they’ve been hired. The IDHR notes that employers are encouraged to train new staff as soon as possible because they can be held liable for damages related to sexual harassment.

    How often should employees be trained?

    Employees should be trained once per calendar year.

    What content must be covered in the sexual harassment training program?

    According to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), model sexual harassment prevention training must include the following:

    • A clear explanation of what sexual harassment is
    • Examples of unlawful sexual harassment
    • A summary of federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and the resources available to victims.
    • Clearly list the role of employers in the prevention, investigation and corrective measures of sexual harassment.

    Do I need to retrain employees who have been trained at other companies?

    The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) encourages all employers to train new employees, even if the employee received training at another job. Employers must also keep records of the sexual harassment prevention training.

    Do employees outside Illinois need to be trained?

    All employees who work or are planning on working in Illinois must be trained. Employees living outside of Illinois who work on a regular basis with employees in Illinois also must be trained.

    Must independent contractors be trained?

    It is strongly recommended that independent contractors be trained and receive sexual harassment prevention training. However, it is not required by law.

    Are there additional requirements for restaurants and bars?

    Yes. In addition to meeting the state’s annual sexual harassment prevention training requirements, restaurants and bars must provide training targeted towards the prevention of sexual harassment in the food and drink service industry. The additional training material must include the following:

    • Specific videos, activities or conduct related to the restaurant or bar industry.
    • Explanation of managers’ liability and responsibility under the law.
    • English and Spanish options.

    What training documentation must employers maintain?

    Illinois employers are required to keep records of all training. These records must be made available to the IDHR for inspection upon request. The record may be a certificate, a sign-in worksheet or a signed employee acknowledgement. The records may be paper or electronic.

    Must the training be accessible to employees with disabilities?

    Employers must offer training that is accessible to all of their employees. If an employee has disabilities or speaks another language, training must be offered in a way that is accessible for them.

     Can employees take the training outside of working hours?

    Yes, employees can be trained outside of work hours. Nevertheless, employees who are made to take training outside of their typical work hours must still be paid for their time.

    What if I don’t provide the training to my employees?

    Failing to provide sexual harassment prevention training is a direct violation of the State of Illinois Human Rights Act. Employers who don’t offer mandatory training will receive civil penalties:

    • A $500 penalty to businesses with less than 4 employees
    • A $1,000 penalty to businesses with 4 or more employees.
    • Subsequent violations can raise penalties to $5,000 per violation.

    Must employees who work at multiple jobs take the training more than once?

    No. Employees do not need to take sexual harassment prevention training more than once a year. If an employee has completed training at another employer, proof should be provided. Employers are responsible that training taken elsewhere meets the standard training requirements.

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