Effective July 1, 2022, the City of Chicago amended the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance by adding significant sexual harassment prevention requirements for employers, including new employer policy, notice, and training obligations; expanded recordkeeping requirements; and stricter penalties for violations. We previously summarized the requirements here. Comparable to existing California and New York state anti-harassment training requirements, Chicago’s sexual harassment prevention requirements are applicable to employers with one or more employees in the City of Chicago, that are subject to Chicago licensing requirements, or that maintain a business facility within City limits.
Anti-harassment training requirements
Among its requirements, the Ordinance requires that employees participate in annual training that covers:
- All employees must participate in a minimum of one hour of sexual harassment prevention training.
- Supervisors or managers must participate in a minimum of two hours of sexual harassment prevention training.
- All employees must participate in one hour of bystander training.
Employers must conduct the first round of trainings required by the ordinance no later than June 30, 2023. Compliance is then required annually between July 1 and June 30 thereafter. The City of Chicago has provided template sexual harassment prevention and bystander intervention training materials, which have been prepared both in English and in Spanish. Training materials can and should be tailored to meet the specific needs of employers, especially as to details relating to reporting mechanisms and other policy statements. It may also be helpful to provide training in a manner that allows for some Q&A time.
Employers must retain a record of the trainings and other records necessary to demonstrate compliance for at least five years or for the duration of any claim, civil action, or investigation pending pursuant to that section, whichever is longer. Failure to maintain these records may lead to a presumption that the employer violated the sexual harassment requirements.
What should Chicago employers do now?
Chicago employers should confirm that their policies, trainings, notices, recordkeeping, and other practices comply with the Ordinance. In particular, employers 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. Laner Muchin attorneys can assist in preparing and providing training to satisfy City requirements.