Illinois Legislature Approves Bill Targeting Workplace Harassment

August 13, 2019

This past June the Illinois General Assembly overwhelmingly passed SB75, or the Workplace Transparency Act, which now sits before Governor J.B. Pritzker. Assuming Governor Pritzker signs the bill into law, new limitations and requirements will be placed on employers starting January 1, 2020. Here are a few key take-aways contained in the Act:

First, the Act will impose limitations on an employers’ ability to require unilateral conditions of employment. For example, a clause or provision in a unilateral agreement with an employee will be unenforceable if it has the effect of preventing an employee from making truthful statements or disclosures about alleged unlawful employment practices. Additionally, a unilateral condition of employment which requires an employee to waive, arbitrate, or otherwise diminish any existing or future claim related to an unlawful employment practice will be unenforceable.

Second, the Act will impose restrictions on an employers’ use of confidentiality provisions in settlement and termination agreements. Specifically, the Act will prohibit a settlement or termination agreement from containing a unilateral clause imposed by an employer that prohibits an individual from making truthful statements or disclosures regarding unlawful employment practices.

Last, the Act will require employers to provide sexual harassment training to employees and mandates that the Illinois Department of Human Rights create free online training materials for employers. Employers will be required to use the free online training materials unless the employer provides suitable alternative materials.

For more information on how the Workplace Transparency Act may affect you or your business, contact the attorneys at Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC.