Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace


DSML Executive Search has just completed an comprehensive online interactive training program on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (and Diversity) in the workplace.  This was an initiative that was undertaken as a matter of compliance with the Illinois Human Rights Act, (see information below).

The following information applies to ALL employers, regardless of size, or industry, who have employees, (even if there is only one employee), in the State of Illinois.  (Other states have similar programs.  New York State, for example, has a very similar employer mandate.)

Employers Must Provide Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Every employer with employees working in the State of Illinois is required to provide all employees with annual sexual harassment prevention training that complies with Section 2-109 of the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”).[1] Employers may develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that meets or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training as outlined in Section 2-109(B) of the IHRA, or they may use the model sexual harassment prevention training developed by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”).

Restaurants and bars are required to provide “supplemental” sexual harassment prevention training that complies with Section 2-110 of the IHRA.[2]

Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Employers may develop their own sexual harassment prevention training programs provided they meet or exceed the minimum training standards outlined in Section 2-109(B) which 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 measures of sexual harassment.

Additional Compliance Information

  • Supplemental Training.  For the purposes of satisfying the requirements under Section 2-109, employers may use IDHR’s model sexual harassment prevention training program to supplement any existing program an employer is utilizing or develops.
  • Deadline to Train Employees. Employers must train employees by December 31, 2020 and on an annual basis thereafter.
  • Civil Penalty. Any employer that is in violation of Section 2-109 will be issued a notice to show cause giving the employer 30 days to comply. Failure to comply within 30 days will result in IDHR petitioning the Illinois Human Rights Commission for entry of an order imposing a civil penalty against the employer.

More information and Frequently Asked Questions.  You may also download this information as a hand out.

Please contact DSML Executive Search if you would like to discuss this important piece of legislation, implement diversity in your recruitment process, create an employee handbook, for your U.S. subsidiary, or wish to undertake a confidential search in the United States.