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:

  1. An explanation of sexual harassment as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA);
  2. Examples of unlawful sexual harassment;
  3. A summary of relevant federal and state statutes, including remedies available; and
  4. A summary of the employer’s responsibilities to prevent, investigate, and correct occurrences of sexual harassment.

Takeaways

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:

  1. maximizes employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and retention; and
  2. minimizes risk of lawsuits, reputational harm, employee absenteeism, and
    turnover.

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.

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Photo of Jon Zimring Jon Zimring

Jon Zimring is Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Workforce Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement group. He practices management-side labor and employment law, representing clients before both the courts and administrative agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Office of…

Jon Zimring is Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Workforce Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement group. He practices management-side labor and employment law, representing clients before both the courts and administrative agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), numerous state and local counterparts to these agencies, and additional other federal, state, and local agencies that investigate, audit compliance with, and enforce labor and employment laws. Drawing on this experience, he also has an active practice assisting employers with prevention through proactive audits, compensation analyses, investigations and consultation, and the development of policies, procedures, systems and training. Jon’s practice includes the representation of employers through virtually all workplace issues, including traditional labor relations with unions, affirmative action compliance, wage and hour, leave and disability, and all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Photo of Lily M. McNulty Lily M. McNulty

Lily is a trusted advisor to companies of all sizes in the areas of employment law and labor relations. She takes great pride in building relationships with clients and providing practical, strategic advice. Clients value her knowledge of employment laws and commitment to…

Lily is a trusted advisor to companies of all sizes in the areas of employment law and labor relations. She takes great pride in building relationships with clients and providing practical, strategic advice. Clients value her knowledge of employment laws and commitment to their business goals, improving employee relations, and minimizing legal risk.

Lily provides compliance-related and strategic advice on virtually all employment related matters such as managing employee relations and performance, complying with wage and hour laws, conducting background checks, complying with pre-employment laws relating to requesting criminal history and salary information, drug and alcohol tests, assessing reasonable accommodations, complying with pregnancy and disability discrimination laws, administering leaves of absences and sick leave, FMLA usage, proper employee classification, severance packages and separation agreements, employment agreements, reductions in force, non-competition agreements, complying with a myriad of discrimination and harassment laws, and a variety of other employment-related topics. Lily also works closely with clients to draft and implement human resources systems, audits, and handbooks designed to foster positive employee relations and comply with employment laws.