In August 2019, Illinois enacted Public Act 101-0221 (commonly referred to as the Workplace Transparency Act). The Act requires all employers, including community associations, with at least one employee working in the state of Illinois to conduct annual sexual harassment training.

“Employee” includes:

  • Full time, part time and short-term employees
  • An apprentice or applicant for an apprenticeship
  • Interns (paid or unpaid)

This can include anyone from security guards, seasonal lifeguards, door staff to maintenance staff. The training must be conducted on an annual basis.  Employers may use the model training provided by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) located on their website to conduct the training and be compliant under the Act. In the alternative, the training may be developed by employers, but it must equal or exceed the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training outlined in Section 2-109(B) of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). Therefore, it must include:

  • an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the IHRA,
  • examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment,
  • a summary of relevant federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, including remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and
  • a summary of responsibilities of employers in the prevention, investigation, and corrective measure of sexual harassment.

Employers must keep a record of their compliance which must be made available to the IDHR upon request.

Records (paper or electronic) can include but are not limited to:

  • Names of employees trained
  • Date of training
  • Sign-in worksheets
  • Signed employee acknowledgments
  • Copes of certificates of participation issued
  • Copy of all written or recorded materials used for the training
  • Name of the training provider, if applicable

If an employer fails to comply with the Act, they may be liable for civil penalties ranging from $500-$5,000 depending on the number of violations and number of employees.

Contact our office today to learn more about this law, or for help and guidance in developing specific sexual harassment training specific to your community association.

For more information, the following resources may be helpful: IDHR information on minimum training standards, IDHR Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Program IDHR FAQ on Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Section 2-109 and 2-110 of the Illinois Human Rights Act.

This article is being provided for informational purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice on the part of Costello Sury & Rooney. or any of its attorneys. No association, board member or any other individual or entity should rely on this article as a basis for any action or actions. If you would like legal advice regarding any of the topics discussed in this article and/or recommended procedures for your association going forward, please contact our office.