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Illinois’s 2020 #MeToo Reforms: The Impacts of Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Reforms in P.A. 101-221 on Employers, including on Contracts, Liabilities, Training, Disclosures, Leave, and Accommodations

Illinois anti-harassment and anti-discrimination law has grown far more complicated, effective January 1, 2020. That’s when most of Public Act 101-221 went into effect, adding a new minefield of duties for employers in the state. This sweeping legislation created three new Acts, including the Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”), and amended eight others, including major additions to the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) and Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”). These new laws create myriad new duties and concerns for employers, including:

  • Affecting how employment agreements may be drafted under the WTA, including provisions restricting statements regarding unlawful employment practices, and agreements to arbitrate disputes;
  • Affecting how confidentiality can be sought in settlement and termination agreements under the WTA;
  • Adding non-sexual harassment to the IHRA;
  • Adding harassment claims for non-employees to the IHRA;
  • Adding annual disclosure requirements of any adverse judgments or administrative rulings under the IHRA, Title VII, or related civil rights laws to the IHRA;
  • Adding mandatory annual sexual harassment trainings to the IHRA;
  • Adding gender violence to the VESSA protections, with potentially large implications for employers handling sexual harassment matters; and
  • Adding additional more specific requirements for unions, restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos, and public sector entities.

While the full implications of these new laws would require a detailed training, we have highlighted some of the broader changes below.

Click here for a more detailed summary of the WTA’s impact on employment contracts and settlement or termination agreements.

Click here for a more detailed summary of the new harassment-related liabilities under the IHRA.

Click here for a more detailed summary of the new annual disclosure and training requirements under the IHRA.

Click here for a more detailed summary of the implications of “gender violence” protections under the VESSA.

Should you have any questions regarding these issues, or require assistance with bringing your employment contracts and policies into compliance, please contact Colette Kopon at [email protected] or Daniel Myerson at [email protected].