A New Obligation for Illinois Employers: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

On January 1, 2020, the state of Illinois issued new requirements for employers. The requirements mandate all employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training  by December 31, 2020. This training must then be provided annually each following year. What is The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act? The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (the “Act”) contains requirements that… Continue reading

An attorney advising a business owner of their legal obligations.

On January 1, 2020, the state of Illinois issued new requirements for employers. The requirements mandate all employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training  by December 31, 2020. This training must then be provided annually each following year.

What is The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act?

The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (the “Act”) contains requirements that Illinois employers should consider in order to prevent fines from the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Of these changes, the most important for employers to understand and implement right now is that of annual sexual harassment prevention training for employees.

The Act defines an employer as any entity “employing one or more employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year.” Because of this definition, this requirement will likely affect most businesses in the state.

How Can Employers Fulfill Their Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement?

To comply with the Act’s training requirement, an employer has two options:

Option 1

Employers can choose to use the model sexual harassment prevention training program. This program is available online from the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Option 2

An employer can create and present its own training program, provided it meets the following four requirements:

  1. The training must provide an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with the Act’s definition. The Act classifies sexual harassment as “any unwelcome advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment”;
  2. The training must provide the employees with examples of actions considered to be unlawful sexual harassment;
  3. The training must provide a summary of relevant federal and state regulations concerning sexual harassment, including resources available to victims of sexual harassment; and
  4. The training must summarize the responsibilities of employers to prevent, investigate, and correct sexual harassment in the workplace.

Regardless of which option they choose, employers should keep detailed records to demonstrate their compliance with the training requirement. According to the Department of Human Rights, acceptable records include:

  • Employees’ certificates of completion/participation
  • Sign-in sheets showing employee attendance
  • Other training materials used by the employer

What Else Should Bars and Restaurants Know?

In addition, bars and restaurants must also maintain a written policy on sexual harassment. All employees should receive a copy of this policy within the first calendar week of his/her employment. After that, restaurants and bars must also supply employees with a supplemental training program aimed at preventing sexual harassment in their industry. The model program developed by the Department of Human Rights for bars and restaurants is currently available online.

What Happens If Employers Fail To Meet The Requirement?

If an employer fails to provide adequate training to its staff by December 31, 2020, the Department of Human Rights will issue a notice to show cause. This notice gives the employer 30 days to complete the requirements. If the employer does not comply within 30 days, the Department will petition the Human Rights Commission for entry of an order imposing a civil penalty against the employer. To avoid unnecessary fines and penalties, employers need to fulfill the training requirements.

Are You A Business Owner With Additional Questions?

The attorneys at Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. have extensive experience representing businesses and advising them of their legal obligations. Feel free to contact us today at (800) 782-8492 with any questions.

Big Changes Coming For Illinois Limited Liability Companies

When forming a business, using a limited liability company, or LLC, can have several advantages. For many years, Illinois courts had maintained that an LLC member or manager could not be held liable for torts he or she personally committed while acting pursuant to his or her role within the business. On January 1, 2020,… Continue reading

When forming a business, using a limited liability company, or LLC, can have several advantages. For many years, Illinois courts had maintained that an LLC member or manager could not be held liable for torts he or she personally committed while acting pursuant to his or her role within the business.

On January 1, 2020, however, this protection evaporated when the Illinois General Assembly amended the State’s Limited Liability Company Act. This change has eliminated the legal indemnity previously offered to Illinois LLC members and managers.

LLC Member Tort Liability Before January 1, 2020

Prior to the beginning of this year, Illinois LLC members and managers were shielded from civil liability for their tortious acts. This protection stemmed from two state appellate opinions, Dass v. Yale and Carollo v. Irwin, both of which interpreted the Limited Liability Company Act as it was written at the time. Looking at the statute’s pre-amendment language, the courts in both cases determined that an LLC member or manager, when acting on behalf of the business, could not be held personally liable for his or her wrongful acts, including fraudulent conduct. This result came from a reading of section 10-10 of the Act, which stated that:

the debts, obligations, and liabilities of a limited liability company, whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, are solely the debts, obligations, and liabilities of the company. A member or manager is not personally liable for a debt, obligation, or liability of the company solely by reason of being or acting as a member or manager.

Based upon this language, the status quo for Illinois LLC members and managers was a guarantee of broad, wide-reaching protections that shielded them from liability, provided that they were acting on behalf of their businesses.

LLC Member Tort Liability After The Amendment

As of January 1, 2020, the legal indemnity that LLC members and managers enjoyed vanished, with the amendment of the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act. The amended language specifically overruled Dass and Carollo, clarifying section 10-10 of the Act to clearly state that members and managers of an LLC may be liable for tortious conduct, despite the fact that their wrongful acts or omissions may have been carried out on their LLC’s behalf.

As a result of the amended Limited Liability Company Act, LLC members and managers should carefully police their conduct when acting on behalf of their businesses. The safety net they were once able to utilize has been legislatively cut.


Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. has a team of skilled business and commercial legal experts who can help navigate the complexities of the law. Feel free to contact us with your legal needs today at (800) 782-8492.