Illinois Law Update – Sex Harassment, Transparency and Training

It’s been an active month for sex harassment legislation in Illinois. Here are some of the top legislative activities to keep on your radar screen:

On August 13, Governor Rauner signed into law a ban on members of the General Assembly from using tax payer dollars as “hush money” to keep silent someone who has alleged or reported sexual harassment.

And on August 23, the Governor signed into law a bill aimed at bringing even greater transparency to municipalities that pay severance to known sexual harassers. This law applies to schools, community colleges, units of local government and other taxing bodies. The law requires these entities to notify the public, including the media, within 72 hours, if they enter into a severance agreement with an employee or contractor that the entity has found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sex discrimination. However, the disclosure requirements do not supersede confidentiality provisions within the severance agreement. This may be due to other state laws requiring compelling reasons for confidentiality. You can read more about it here.

Another new law applicable to both public and private sector workers will require at least one hour of sexual harassment training for professions licensed by the state that require continuing education. The law will apply to license renewals starting January of 2020.