Employers have only a few months left to train all employees working in Chicago on sexual harassment prevention and bystander intervention. While this requirement is to be completed annually, the first round of training must be completed by June 30. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the deadline.
What is Required?
The Chicago Human Rights Ordinance was amended in April 2022 to strengthen workplace anti-harassment protections. While employers have several new obligations under the amendments, they should pay particular attention to the upcoming June 30 deadline to complete the first round of annual training.
A minimum of one hour of sexual harassment prevention training is required for employees, and a minimum of two hours of such training is required for managers and supervisors. Additionally, one hour of bystander intervention training is required for all employees.
To satisfy these requirements, employers may implement the City of Chicago’s template sexual harassment prevention and bystander intervention trainings. You should note, however, that these templates are meant to be expanded and tailored to meet the individual needs of employers.
You can find additional assistance here on tailoring the trainings to meet your business needs. The Illinois training template may also be used for sexual harassment prevention training for employees, and of course, employers may develop their own programs, so long as they meet or exceed the minimum requirements.
Review Additional Obligations
In addition to the annual training requirements, you should note the following changes to the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance:
The definition of sexual harassment was updated to include unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, and sexual misconduct;
Chicago employers must have a written policy on sexual harassment prevention and present it to employees within the first calendar week of employment;
Posting and recordkeeping requirements are stricter, including the requirement to maintain records for at least five years or the duration of any claim, civil action, or investigation;
The statute of limitations was extended to 365 days; and
Penalties were raised for all forms of discrimination to $5,000 to $10,000 per offense.
Next Steps for Employers to Ensure Compliance
Chicago employers should review the ordinance and ensure their policies, trainings, notices, recordkeeping, and other practices comply with the changes and upcoming requirements. In particular, you should ensure employees working in Chicago have completed the first round of required annual sexual harassment prevention and bystander intervention trainings by the June 30 deadline.
Additional details on the changes can be found in our original post on this topic here. Moreover, your Fisher Phillips attorney can review all policies and procedures that may be affected by the recent changes to the ordinance and offer training to your Chicago employees in a manner that satisfies these requirements.
We will continue to monitor any further developments and provide updates on these and other labor and employment issues affecting employers, so make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Insight System to gather the most up-to-date information. If you have any questions, please contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, the author of this Insight, or any attorney in our Chicago office.
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