Beginning July 1, 2022, any Chicago employer who has work locations in Chicago must comply with new sexual harassment prevention training and other requirements.
The Chicago Commission on Human Relations recently amended Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance. The amended Ordinance enhances sexual harassment protections and requires employers to implement annual training programs for employees located in the City of Chicago. These rules are stricter than Illinois requirements.
What does the amended Ordinance entail?
Enhanced Definition of “Sexual Harassment”
Under the amended Ordinance, “sexual harassment” now explicitly includes “sexual misconduct,” i.e., “any behavior of a sexual nature which also involves coercion, abuse of authority, or misuse of an individual’s employment position.”
Covered employers are required to:
Sexual harassment policy.
All city of Chicago employers must have a written policy (by July 1, 2022) including:
Poster. Conspicuously display (in English and Spanish), in at least 1 location where employees commonly gather (or online if remote), posters designed by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (the Commission), which can be found on their website:
Other Changes and Procedures
Longer statute of limitations. Employees now have 365 days (not 300) after a violation to file a complaint.
Records. Businesses must retain for at least 5 years (or for the duration of any claim, civil action or investigation pending, if longer), records regarding their sexual harassment policy, training, and compliance with the ordinance.
Penalties. Fines range from $500 to $1,000 per violation. Every day that a violation continues is considered a separate and distinct offense.
If you are a covered employer, review/update or creation of a written sexual harassment policy is crucial. Obtain and display the posters by July 1. Next, make arrangements to provide the new training by June 30, 2023 (though the State of Illinois requires Sexual Harassment training each calendar year).
The updated training and bystander intervention training will be available through my alliance with EasyLlama by the end of July, 2022.
Please contact me for further information about required trainings and to update your policy.