Summary:  This is a targeted informational message for CPAs, CPA firms, business and industry members who may be impacted by these new regulatory requirements.
Overview: The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance placing additional requirements on Chicago employers.  The ordinance creates new mandated employer sexual harassment trainings and written policy requirements that go well beyond what is currently required by the state. The new policy requirements ordered under the ordinance will largely take effect on July 1, 2022. [1] Specifically, the ordinance will:
  • Require 1-hour of annual sexual harassment prevention training be provided to all employees (which is already required by the state); a new 2-hour annual sexual harassment prevention training for supervisors; and a new 1-hour annual bystander training.
  • Require all employers to have a new written policy document regarding sexual harassment containing several provisions and in the primary language of the employee (similar to what is currently only required of bars and restaurants by the state).
  • Require all employers to post a new notice, prepared by the CCHR, concerning sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Require all employers to retain records concerning both written policy and trainings provided to each employee for no less than 5 years.
  • Impose new fines for violations of the new training and policy document requirements (of up to$1,000), in addition to increasing, across the board, the fee for violation of various provisions of the Human Rights section of the Municipal Code, i.e., issues largely related to unlawful discrimination, from a range of $100-$1,000 to a range of $5,000-$10,000.
The Chicago Commission on Human Relations has posted information on city requirements on the Commission’s landing page that provides comprehensive details and model policies and required postings. The Commission has also posted a YouTube webinar.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an informational session with the city in July with the date TBD at this time.   The Illinois CPA Society will share the date of the informational session when it becomes available.
Our thanks to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce for assisting us with gathering and disseminating this information and for their work to minimize the impact on employers and protecting the health and well—being of employees.
See ICPAS Government Relations Legislation and Regulatory News posting entitled 
Chicago's New Sexual Harassment Prevention Requirements Take Effect July 1 that includes a link to a substantive Law Flash Article on the requirements.

[1] It is noted that while the Ordinance will “largely take effect on July 1, information on formal implementation from the City has been slow in coming.   With that being said, we wanted to provide you with information available at this time so that you can take steps for compliance and advise your clients on these new requirements.