New Illinois Human Rights Poster Highlights Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) has supplied employers with a new mandatory workplace notice, the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination poster. Although the notice has an all-new name, appearance, and text, it’s not really new – it simply replaces the previous IDHR “Employment Rights” notice describing the rights of employees under the Illinois Human Rights Act.

The new notice provides additional information on employee rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act, including the right to certain reasonable accommodations and the right to be free from sexual harassment. The poster update is required as the result of a new law passed during the 2018 legislative session.

New Law Amends Illinois Human Rights Act

While the new law, Public Act 100-0588, primarily impacts policies of the state government, a portion also affects private employers who are covered by the Illinois Human Rights Act. One section of the law increases the statute of limitations for an employee to file a charge under the Act. Previously, employees were limited to 180 days from the alleged discriminatory act occurs to file a charge; that time limit has increased to 300 days.

The law also amends the posting and notice requirements of the Human Rights Act. Under the Act, employers are required to post a notice in the workplace, prepared by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), which summarizes the requirements of the Human Rights Act and provides information about filing a charge. Employers are in violation of the Act if they fail to post the notice or fail to include the required information in any employee handbook provided by the employer. (775 ILCS 5/2-102(K)) To fulfill this requirement, IDHR previously provided a notice titled “Employment Rights.”

Public Act 100-0588 now requires the mandatory workplace notice provided by IDHR to explicitly state that employees have the right to be free from sexual harassment. The law also expands the purpose of the Illinois Sexual Harassment Helpline to include Discrimination. Although the new law went into effect on June 8, 2018 upon signature by Governor Bruce Rauner, IDHR only recently replaced the Employment Rights notice with the new Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination poster.

2018 Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Poster

Illinois Job Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Poster Peel 'N Post - Mobile Poster PakThe new Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination poster informs employees: “You Have the Right to Be Free From Job Discrimination and Sexual Harassment.” The poster briefly describes the the basic tenets of the Human Rights Act, stating that the law prohibits employers from treating employees differently based on the employee’s race, age, gender, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, or other protected classes named in the Act.

There are sections describing the right to reasonable accommodations for employees who are pregnant or have a disability and the right of an employee to be free from retaliation for exercising their rights under the Act. The notice also provides three options for reporting discrimination, including contacting the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline to discuss the employee’s concerns. Contact information is also provided for the Chicago and Springfield branches of the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

The Illinois Human Rights Act covers employers who have employed 15 or more employees for more than 20 weeks within Illinois during the current or preceding calendar year, except in cases involving unlawful discrimination based on pregnancy, disability, or sexual harassment. In those cases, the Act applies to employers with 1 or more employees. As such, the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination poster must be posted by all employers operating in the state of Illinois.

Next Moves for Employers

If you already own one of Compliance Poster Company’s signature products, you can update your mandatory Illinois Human Rights Act notice with the  2018 Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Peel ‘N Post™ sticker for only $9.95. The cost-effective alternative to poster subscription services, Peel ‘N Post update stickers are quick and easy to use – simply peel off the backing and post the sticker over the outdated notice.

If you’re looking for a complete compliance solution, order a fully up-to-date 2018 Illinois All-On-One™ Labor Law Poster, consolidating all state and federal required postings onto one convenient and attractive wall poster, or an Illinois Mobile Poster Pak™ booklet for mobile and off-site workers or your HR reference desk.

Covered employers that provide an employee handbook should also review those materials to ensure they include all mandatory information about an employee’s rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act, including the right to be free from sexual harassment.

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Please keep in mind that CPC is unable to provide legal advice.

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