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Harassment Prevention Training FAQs: City of Chicago

In April 2022, the City of Chicago amended its sexual harassment laws to provide annual sexual harassment and bystander intervention training to their employees. The following FAQ addresses the most common questions HR Source members have about the new requirements.

Q: Who has to comply with the City of Chicago’s new training requirement?  (New guidance, May 2023)

Employers must train any employee who performs work in the City of Chicago. Anyone who manages an employee who performs work within the City of Chicago must also be trained, even if the manager/supervisor does not otherwise perform work in the City. 

Q: Is completing the annual sexual harassment training required by the State of Illinois enough to ensure compliance with the City of Chicago’s new training requirements? 

Assuming the training provided is at least one hour for employees and two hours for managers and covers everything required by the State of Illinois (as detailed in 775 ILCS 5/2-109), it is enough to satisfy the City of Chicago’s required harassment training. However, one hour of bystander intervention training must also be provided for all employees each year. 

Q: When must the training be completed? 

The first set of trainings must be completed by June 30, 2023. All subsequent trainings must be completed between July 1 and June 30, annually.  

Q: Is there a reporting and/or certification requirement evidencing that employees have completed the required training? 

Employers should maintain training records for at least five years. This record could be a certificate or a signed acknowledgement (or sign-in sheet) from the employee or training provider. Employers are not required to submit the records unless specifically advised to do so. Note, however, that failure to maintain the required records creates a presumption that the employer violated the law. 

Q: What are the penalties for violating the law? 

Employers who fail to conduct annual sexual harassment prevention and/or bystander intervention training are subject to a fine of $500 - $1,000 for each offense. 

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