One in five workers in the U.S. is now required to undergo anti-harassment training. While the number of states and municipalities with anti-harassment measures in place is still relatively small, this list includes major population centers in New York, California, and now, Illinois.
The latest anti-harassment legislation to take effect — on January 1, 2020 — is in Illinois. The Workplace Transparency Act (Illinois,101 – 0221) amends the Illinois Human Rights Act and requires employers to provide annual sexual harassment training for all employees working in the state. The Act also includes a slew of other regulations addressing harassment prevention, reporting, investigation, retaliation, and corrective measures.
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1. All employees — supervisory and not, at employers of any size in any industry — must be trained by January 1, 2021 and annually thereafter. Training must include an explanation and examples of sexual harassment, along with summaries of both the relevant state and federal statutes and employer responsibilities regarding sexual harassment.
2. Employers are now responsible for the harassment of nonemployees performing services for the employer — such as contractors and consultants — by their nonmanagerial and nonsupervisory employees, but only if the employer becomes aware of the conduct and fails to take reasonable corrective measures.
3. Senate Bill 75 outlines additional measures operators of restaurants and bars (effective January 1, 2020), and hotels and casinos (effective July 1, 2020) must take to protect their employees from sexual harassment, such as required details of policies and training specific to these industries.
4. The new law imposes mandatory harassment and discrimination disclosure requirements for employers. Initial disclosures are due July 1, 2020, then each July 1 after, and must include the number of adverse judgments and administrative rulings during the preceding year, any equitable relief ordered, and which categories the adverse judgments and administrative rulings were in. Employers must also disclose private settlements for matters involving harassment or discrimination.
5. The law also creates the Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act, expands the Victims Economic Security and Safety Act, and modifies with the state’s Uniform Arbitration Act to provide further protection to victims of harassment.
To ensure compliance with the slew of new anti-harassment mandates, employers in Illinois should:
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