New Laws Concerning Sexual Harassment in Illinois Will Take Effect in 2020
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against a person because of their sex, national origin, race, or skin color. Since this essential piece of legislation, many more laws have been enacted to prevent employment discrimination, and most recently, workplace sexual harassment. Beginning in 2020, Illinois employers will be subject to new laws designed to prevent and address sexual harassment. If you have been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment at work, a qualified sexual harassment attorney can help.
Illinois Employers May No Longer Require Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Workplace Transparency Act into law in August 2019 and it will go into effect January 1, 2020. The act prohibits employers from unilaterally requiring arbitration for sexual harassment claims or any other claim concerning laws enforced by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IHRA) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employers are also prohibited from requiring employees to sign a confidentiality clause that prevents the employees from reporting violations of Equal Employment Opportunity laws including violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act.
Special Protections for Hotel and Casino Workers
Individuals working in hotels and other businesses within the hospitality industry are sometimes victims of unwanted sexual remarks and conduct by guests. Starting July 1, 2020, many casino and hospitality employers will be required to implement new procedures including:
- Providing employees with notification devices that they can use to call for help if they are a witness to or a victim of sexual harassment or a criminal offense.
- Informing employees about the legal protections against sexual harassment and discrimination provided by the EEOC and IHRA in written anti-sexual harassment policies.
- Separating employees from a guest who has sexually harassed them and providing paid time off for the employee to obtain a police report or attend legal proceedings resulting from guest harassment.
Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act
There are also several updates to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) which will take effect in the new year. The IHRA will now:
- Apply to remote work environments and prohibit online sexual harassment
- Protect against harassment and discrimination based on a person’s perceived status
- Apply to both employees and nonemployees such as consultants and contractors
- Require Illinois employers to implement an anti-sexual harassment training program which employees must attend at least once a year
Contact a Wheaton Sexual Harassment Lawyer
No one should ever tolerate being harassed or discriminated against at work. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact an experienced St. Charles sexual harassment attorney at MKFM Law. Call us at 630-665-7300 today to schedule a confidential consultation.