Illinois companies: Train employees to avoid sexual harassment or be fined

Illinois employers, are your company employees able to recognize sexual harassment? Do they know what to do if they believe they are being sexually harassed?

Illinois companies with 15 or more workers will either set time aside every year to teach their employees how to recognize and prevent sexual harassment or they’ll face hefty fines.

The law takes effect January 1, 2020. In July 2020, businesses with at least one worker will need to comply.

The mandate is part of an omnibus bill called the Workplace Transparency Act, which Illinois lawmakers passed in response to the growing number of sexual misconduct allegations being made in a variety of industries.

“A lot of employers are panicking,” said Kimberly Ross a Chicago-based attorney for FordHarrison LLP, a law firm focused on labor and employment.

The new law specifies that, at a minimum, training include definitions of sexual harassment, examples of conduct that is unlawful, and examples of appropriate and inappropriate conduct by a supervisor, the Herald-Review reports.

The training sessions should also review federal and state laws, employees’ rights and available remedies, and a list of responsibilities companies have in handling claims.

More on the development HERE.