This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
| 2 minutes read

Some Employers Must Comply with Chicago's Sexual Harassment Law Even if They Are Not in Chicago

In April 2022, the city of Chicago strengthened its sexual harassment law and added annual training requirements. Since this is a city law, many employers located outside of Chicago paid it little notice. However, in an age in which many employees work remotely, employers are finding themselves subject to an increased number of local laws. Businesses with employees who do any work in the city of Chicago should take note of Chicago's sexual harassment training and policy requirements, as they apply more broadly than many employers believe.

If You Have Employees Who Work in Chicago, You Likely Have Training Obligations 

Chicago takes a broad view on which workers are covered by annual sexual harassment training obligations. Remote employees who work in Chicago all or some of the time must receive annual training. Even if an employee works a hybrid schedule and only works remotely in Chicago one day a week, that employee should receive Chicago-compliant training. Additionally, covered employees' managers or supervisors must receive Chicago-compliant annual training, even if those managers or supervisors never step foot in Chicago.

Compliance with Illinois' Training Obligations Is Not Enough 

Illinois employers located outside Chicago, but with one or more employees in Chicago, may assume they are already providing sufficient training because they are meeting the state's training requirements. However, Chicago requires more than Illinois does, and it is not enough to do only what the state requires. While both Illinois and Chicago require annual sexual harassment training, Chicago requires at least one hour per year of training for all employees and an additional hour of training for supervisors and managers, something the state does not require. Moreover, all employees must also take one hour of bystander intervention training, which the state also does not require.

Chicago Also Has Specific Requirements for Sexual Harassment Policies 

In addition to strict training requirements, Chicago requires that covered employers have sexual harassment policies that are more detailed than the typical anti-harassment policy. The required policy must specifically state: 1) that sexual harassment and retaliation are illegal in Chicago; 2) the definition of sexual harassment with examples; 3) the annual training requirement; and 4) detailed information on how an individual can report sexual harassment, including information on how an employee can make a complaint to government agencies.

Penalties for violating Chicago's anti-harassment law may include fines of $500 to $1,000 for each offense. If you have questions regarding whether your business is covered under Chicago's broad sexual harassment law or whether your policy and training are compliant, you should consider contacting your employment attorney today.


labor and employment