Is my sexual harassment prevention training for Illinois compliant?

Illinois employers must provide sexual harassment prevention training for employees once a year. Here's everything you need to know to remain compliant:

Public Act 101-0221 amended the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA") requiring: Illinois employers to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training by December 31, 2020 and annually thereafter; restaurants and bars to establish and disseminate a written policy on sexual harassment prevention training and provide "supplemental" sexual harassment prevention training; and the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") to develop a model sexual harassment prevention training program for use by employers.

Employers may develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training outlined in Section 2-109(B) and/or Section 2-110(C) of IHRA.

Restaurants and Bars Must Establish a Sexual Harassment Policy and Provide a Copy to Employees

Every restaurant and bar, as defined under Section 2-110 of the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA"), is required to establish a written sexual harassment prevention policy and provide a copy to all employees.

What does Illinois sexual harassment training need to include?

Multiple Languages. The policy must be made available in English and Spanish.

Copy to Employees. Restaurants and bars are required to provide employees with a written copy of their sexual harassment prevention policy within the first calendar week of the employee's employment.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Required. In addition to establishing a sexual harassment prevention policy, restaurants and bars must also provide their employees with sexual harassment prevention training in compliance with Sections 2-109 and 2-110 of the IHRA. For more information about these requirements, visit IDHR's website at and download handouts SHP-TR01 and SHP-TR02. Restaurants and bars are required to train their employees by December 31, 2020 and annually thereafter.

Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy for Restaurants and Bars

Section 2-110(B) requires that every restaurant and bar have a sexual harassment prevention policy. It must include a prohibition on sexual harassment and the definition of sexual harassment under the IHRA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, the policy must include 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 mechanism that may be available;

Don't forget an an explanation of the internal complaint process available to employees as well as how to contact and file a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") and United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Finally, your policy must include a prohibition on retaliation for reporting sexual harassment allegations, and a requirement that all employees participate in sexual harassment prevention training.

Can Illinois employers provide sexual harassment training online?

Yes, in fact, the Research Institute of America concluded that eLearning boosts retention rates by 25% to 60%. If you choose to provide sexual harassment prevention training through interactive E-learning, make sure that you are working with a business or institution that specializes in technology and is partnering with subject matter experts who specialize in the law. E-learning is an effective, low-cost way to reach 100% of your workforce.

As workplace and labor laws continue to evolve, it's important to know your state's sexual harassment prevention training requirements. Delivering training that's accessible and relatable is essential. It ensures a safe and inclusive workplace.