Does Illinois Require Sexual Harassment Prevention Training?

Short answer: yes. There are two main categories of people who need to worry about either providing or taking sexual harassment prevention training now that Public Act 101-0221 has amended the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). They are employers with even one employee and anyone who has a license from the Department of Professional Regulation (DPR) that requires continuing education (CE) for renewal. 

But how much sexual harassment prevention training is required to comply with Public Act 101-0221? Read on to learn exactly what you need to know to comply with this new amendment. 

Illinois sexual harassment prevention training for employers

By the end of this year, employers with one employee or more need to provide one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all of their employees, including interns and part-time and short-term employees. The first deadline for this new requirement is December 31, 2020, so make sure you make arrangements to offer this training at some point in this calendar year. 

This isn’t a one-and-done requirement, either. In each successive year, you need to continue offering this hour of training to each of your employees. If you have questions about how Public Act 101-0221 pertains to you as an employer now and moving forward, you can use this FAQ page from the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). 

How to meet this requirement

You have options. You can hire an outside party to come to your business and provide this training or you can develop your own training. Or perhaps the easiest path is to find a provider that offers online sexual harassment prevention training. This way, the training is ready whenever you hire a new team member and your individual employees can find a time that’s convenient for them to take this training, rather than having to shut down your business so everyone can take the training together. 

The IDHR isn’t certifying third-party sexual harassment prevention training providers. If you choose to go the third-party route, make sure you choose a provider that offers training that complies with Sections 2-109 and 2-110 of the IHRA.

Illinois sexual harassment prevention training for DPR licensees

If you have a license from the DPR and you have to take continuing education during each renewal period, you’re now required to make sure one of those hours covers the topic of sexual harassment prevention training. Fortunately, this doesn’t add an hour to your overall CE requirements. Instead, the hour of sexual harassment prevention training you take counts toward your total hour requirement. 

This requirement went into effect at the start of this year, so you need to make sure you complete this required hour before your next license renewal date. 

How to meet this requirement

The DPR is approving courses to meet this requirement, so make sure you take your course from an education provider to whom they’ve given the green light. Fortunately, you can take this hour online to easily knock it out and comply with the new Illinois sexual harassment prevention training requirement for DPR licensees. 

See? The new requirements aren’t that complex — or that difficult to meet. But the clock is ticking, so make sure you provide the required hour of training by the end of the year (for employers) or take the hour during your next license renewal period (for DPR licensees).