When it comes to sexual harassment, prevention is key. The more employers, managers, supervisors, and employees understand how to prevent and recognize sexual harassment, the better. Illinois law already requires employers to provide sexual harassment training to employees, but Chicago has taken further steps to promote harassment-free workplaces. The recent ordinance addresses both harassment prevention and bystander reporting responsibilities.
Amendments to the Human Rights Ordinance Taking Effect Soon
To combat the ongoing problem of workplace sexual harassment, Chicago has increased the sexual harassment prevention training requirements and made other changes to the law. Companies employing at least one employee will be required to comply with the amendment. Employers have until July 1, 2022, to implement the new policy.
The new amendment includes a statement affirming that “sexual misconduct” falls within the category of sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct is defined as behavior of a sexual nature that involves abuse of authority or position or coercion.
The amendment also requires employers to have a written company policy that includes:
- A declaration that sexual harassment and retaliation are illegal in the city of Chicago
- An explanation that sexual harassment includes unsolicited sexual conduct or sexual advances and requests for sexual favors
- Examples of harassing behaviors
- A requirement that all employees participate in sexual harassment training every year
- How to report sexual harassment
- Information about the government agencies victims of sexual harassment may need to contact
The amendment also expands the amount of mandatory anti-sexual harassment training employees must participate in and clarifies employers’ record-keeping obligations. Harassment and discrimination complainants also have additional time to file a sexual harassment complaint under the new amendment. Lastly, the amendment increased the financial penalties for discrimination.
Steps to Take If You Were Sexually Harassed at Work
Anyone who has been subject to sexual harassment as defined in Illinois and federal laws should take immediate action. If you were harassed, follow the reporting procedure outlined in your employee handbook. If the problem is not resolved, you may want to work with a sexual harassment lawyer who can protect your rights and help you take the appropriate action. Some sexual harassment victims are entitled to legal remedies, including but not limited to money damages.
Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you were sexually harassed at work or you were retaliated against for filing a sexual harassment complaint, contact MKFM Law for legal help. Our knowledgeable Wheaton sexual harassment attorneys can provide the legal support and skilled representation you need. Call us at 630-665-7300 for a confidential case evaluation.