Illinois Provides Model for Newly Required Anti-Harassment Training
In 2019, Illinois required employers to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to all Illinois employees. This requirement also applies to employers based in other states that have one or more employees working remotely in Illinois or working at a customer’s worksite in Illinois. All Illinois employees must be trained by December 31, 2020. Restaurants and bars must also provide supplemental sexual harassment prevention training targeted specifically for those industries.
On April 30, the Illinois Department of Human Rights released the Sexual Harassment Training program https://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/Training/Pages/default.aspx for employers to use to comply with Illinois’ new sexual harassment prevention training requirement. Employers may use the IDHR model training program materials, or they may develop a specifically tailored training program, provided that the custom training meets the State’s minimum legal requirements.
- Although employers are not required to train independent contractors, IDHR strongly advises that independent contractors receive training if they work on-site at an employer’s workplace or interact with employees.
- Employers should include in their anti-harassment training any employee who is based outside of Illinois but regularly works with employees in the state.
While virtual training may be the only feasible option in our current environment, employers should keep in mind that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found that anti-harassment training is most effective when it is tailored to the specific workplace and workforce, as well as provided in-person, with interactive discussion, and by an experienced trainer. Employers that provide remote training should attempt to deliver training in a manner that allows for Q&A with the participants when possible.