Illinois Employers Must Complete Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Annually

As a result of recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), employers in Illinois are required to provide annual sexual harassment training to employees who (1) work in Illinois, (2) may perform work in Illinois, or (3) regularly interact with Illinois employees. Employers have largely ignored these new requirements in the wake of the ever-changing environment created by COVID-19, but there is still time to comply. The training must occur on or before December 31, 2020. To help our clients comply with the law, Levin Ginsburg has been providing updated sexual harassment training to its clients virtually.

The Illinois Department of Human Rights provided a model PowerPoint program that employers can use to comply with the law. However, many employers prefer to offer their own training tailored to their business and policies. The law allows employers to use their own training, provided it meets or exceeds the statutory standards. At a minimum, the training must include:

• an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the IHRA;
• examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment;
• a summary of relevant federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; and
• a summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment.

If your business is a restaurant or bar, the statute provides additional requirements, including providing each employee a written sexual harassment policy. Illinois recently issued a model training program for restaurants and bars, and this additional training must include the following additional topics:

• specific conduct, activities, or videos related to the restaurant or bar industry;
• an explanation of manager liability and responsibility under the law; and
• English and Spanish language options.

As the December 31, 2020 deadline is quickly approaching, it is important for employers to take steps to meet their obligations imposed by Illinois law. If you have questions about how Levin Ginsburg can help you conduct this training virtually for your employees, please reach out to

Walker R. Lawrence, a partner in the employment law practice at Levin Ginsburg, at

312-368-0100 or wlawrence@lgattorneys.com.

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