Illinois Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements 101

If you’re unsure of how to meet Illinois’ new sexual harassment prevention training requirements, this at-a-glance guide will highlight the essentials. It covers the Workplace Transparency Act, upcoming deadlines, and special considerations for bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide to meeting Illinois’ requirements, please visit Impact Compliance Training’s sexual harassment prevention training blog.

SB 0075 Basics

On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed the Workplace Transparency Act, also known as SB 0075. Starting in 2020, this bill requires employers in the state of Illinois to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to their employees.

This training must meet or exceed the Illinois model sexual harassment prevention minimum standards, which include:

  • An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the definition as outlined in SB 0075
  • 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
  • A summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment

Key Take-Aways

Start Date: January 1, 2020

Basic Requirements:
• Explanation of sexual harassment
• Examples of unlawful conduct
• Summary of statutory provisions
• Summary of employer responsibilities
• Training Provided Annually

Special Requirements for Bars and Restaurants

Starting July 1, 2020, every restaurant and bar operating in Illinois must provide a sexual harassment policy to all employees, in writing, within the first calendar week of the employee’s start date. The policy shall include:

  • A prohibition on sexual harassment
  • The definition of sexual harassment under the Illinois Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Details on how an individual can report an allegation of sexual harassment internally, including options for making a confidential report to a manager, owner, corporate headquarters, human resources department, or other internal reporting mechanisms that may be available
  • An explanation of the internal complaint process available to employees
  • How to contact and file a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • A prohibition on retaliation for reporting sexual harassment allegations
  • A requirement that all employees participate in sexual harassment prevention training. The policy shall be made available in English and Spanish

Every restaurant and bar needs to use the supplemental model training program developed by the Department of Human Rights designed specifically for the industry, or implement its own supplemental training in consultation with industry professionals. This must include:

  • Specific conduct, activities, or videos related to SB 0075 for the restaurant or bar industry
  • An explanation of manager liability and responsibility under the law
  • English and Spanish language options

Key Take-Aways

Start Date: July 1, 2020

Basic Requirements:
• Written harassment policy given to employees within the first week of employment
• Industry-specific supplemental training
• English and Spanish language options

Training Employees without Computer Access

Whether you’re a manufacturer or a restaurateur, nearly 65 million working American adults are without daily computer access. For businesses in Illinois, this limited access creates an HR nightmare. If you’re concerned about how you’ll meet the requirements of your state and train employees without regular computer access, consider:

  • Mobile-Friendly eCourses
  • Facilitator-Led Courses
  • Kiosk Courses

Penalties for Failure to Train

If you violate the training requirement, the Department of Human Rights will issue a notice and give you 30 days to comply. If you don’t comply within 30 days, you’ll receive a civil penalty of up to $5,000.

Employers with fewer than 4 employees:
$500 for the first offense
$1,000 for the second offense
$3,000 for third and subsequent offenses

Employers with 4 or more employees:
$1,000 for the first offense
$3,000 for the second offense
$5,000 for third and subsequent offenses