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Preparing for Chicago’s New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements 

On April 27, 2022, the city of Chicago enacted additional measures to help protect individuals from sexual harassment. The changes include significant new requirements for employers related to mandatory trainings, written policies, and recordkeeping. The ordinances also revised what constitutes sexual harassment, extended the reporting and notification period, and increased monetary penalties for violations.

  • The modified ordinance became effective on July 1, 2022.
  • It covers all employees who work in the city of Chicago and the companies that they work for (even if a company only has a single Chicago-based employee).
  • Sexual misconduct is now considered a category of prohibited harassment. This includes “any behavior of a sexual nature which also involves coercion, abuse of authority, or misuse of an individual’s employment position.”
  • Employers must now have a written sexual harassment policy. Details on what is required in that policy and how it must be communicated and displayed are available at the Chicago Commission on Human Relations site. (If your organization has Chicago employees and does not yet have a written policy, SAI360 is prepared to help you draft one through our Advisory Services offerings.
  • Employees now have up to 365 days to report incidents of harassment. Companies have up to 30 days to provide alleged harassers with a copy of the complaint filed against them.
  • Employers must maintain records of their written policies prohibiting sexual harassment, trainings given to each employee, and documentation demonstrating compliance with the ordinance. Records must be retained for either five years or for the duration of an active claim, if longer.
  • Penalties for acts of discrimination, including sexual harassment, have risen from $500 – $1,000 per violation, to $5,000 – $10,000 per violation.
  • All non-supervisory employees must receive one hour of annual training on preventing sexual harassment.
  • All supervisory employees must receive two hours of annual training on preventing sexual harassment.
  • All employees must receive a separate, one-hour training on bystanderism, which details how onlookers should respond if they witness incidents of suspected sexual harassment.

While companies have until June 30, 2023, to deliver the first round of trainings, SAI360’s comprehensive Dignity and Respect Course featuring the Chicago requirements will be released on September 30. The Bystander Course will be available by December 30.

Want to learn more about how SAI360 is helping organizations fulfill their mandatory training obligations? Request a Learning Demo today.

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