As Israeli companies with US employees approach year-end, special attention should be paid to new laws that will take effect.
In the legal update below, Greenberg Traurig’s Chicago office reminds companies that have employees in the State of Illinois of their new obligation to conduct workplace harassment training for these employees by no later than December 31, 2020. This requirement applies to any company with even one employee in the State of Illinois, regardless of how many individuals are employed by the Company in total.
New to 2020, Illinois employers of all sizes must conduct sexual harassment prevention training by Dec. 31. This training requirement is part of the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act, which requires employers to provide workplace harassment training to all employees at least once a year.
The training must include, at a minimum:
- An explanation of sexual harassment as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA);
- Examples of unlawful sexual harassment;
- A summary of relevant federal and state statutes, including remedies available; and
- A summary of the employer’s responsibilities to prevent, investigate, and correct occurrences of sexual harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates that 25% to 85% of working women have experienced sexual harassment on the job. The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act explains, “[o]rganizational tolerance of sexual harassment has a detrimental influence in workplaces by creating a hostile work environment … reducing productivity, and increasing legal liability.”
Against this backdrop, the IDHR created training materials that comply with the above legal requirements. While these materials are better than nothing, there is no substitute for dynamic, non-legalese, and tailored trainings that present these important topics in relatable terms. Beyond legal requirements, implementing policies and training programs that promote safe and inclusive workplaces often:
- maximizes employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and retention; and
- minimizes risk of lawsuits, reputational harm, employee absenteeism, and
Employers should work with experienced legal counsel to conduct employment trainings to ensure compliance with the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act.
For more information please reach out to GT’s Labor & Employment Shareholder, Meira Ferziger, who is based in the firm’s Tel Aviv office and is available to connect you with the firm’s Chicago Labor & Employment group for assistance.
Read the full GT Alert.