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Illinois Releases Model Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training For Employers


After a long wait, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) recently published its model sexual harassment prevention training. This model training relates to the recent amendments and expansions of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) — the state’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment statute. These amendments put into place strict anti-harassment policy and training requirements for employers. Accordingly, you need to be ready to ensure that your anti-harassment policies and training complies with the IHRA’s new requirements and IDHR’s model training.

A Primer On Illinois Anti-Harassment Training Requirements

In 2019, the Illinois legislature amended the IHRA in a number of ways. Effective January 1, 2020, Illinois employers are now required to provide sexual harassment training to all employees on an annual basis. Despite the requirement having gone into effect at the beginning of the year, the IDHR only recently published its model anti-harassment training program that can be used in addition to an employer’s existing training program. 

While you are not required to utilize the IDHR’s model training, any training must, at a minimum, addresses the following:

Of note, bars and restaurants in Illinois are subject to additional anti-harassment training requirements. For example, employees in the bar and restaurant industries need to receive supplemental, industry-specific training and policies that are available in both English and Spanish. These include, but are not limited to, an explicit prohibition on sexual harassment, an explanation of manager liability and responsibility, and contact information for the IDHR and EEOC. However, the IDHR has not provided separate model training for bars and restaurants.

Next Steps For Employers

For your review, the IDHR’s model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training program is available at this link. Although this program is a model, it may extend beyond the exact requirements of the IHRA in some areas. Fisher Phillips is pleased to offer training to your Illinois employees in a manner that is compliant with applicable law and can review all policies and procedures that may be affected by the recent changes to the IHRA.

If you have any questions, please contact your Fisher Phillips attorney or any attorney in the firm’s Chicago office.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific state law. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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