Labor/Employment Law Update


Labor/Employment Law Update

Dec 4, 2017

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Local Governments Required to Adopt Resolution or Ordinance Approving Sexual Harassment Policy

On November 16, 2017, Governor Rauner signed Public Act 100-0554 into law. This new law amends Section 70-5 of the Illinois State Officials and Employee Ethics Act (the “Ethics Act”), 5 ILCS 430/1 et seq., to require local governmental entities to adopt a sexual harassment policy by ordinance or resolution on or before January 15, 2018.

Specifically, this new law requires that the adopted policy shall include, at a minimum:

i) A prohibition on sexual harassment;

ii) Details on how an individual can report an allegation of sexual harassment, including options for making a confidential report to a supervisor, ethics officer, Inspector General, or the Department of Human Rights;

iii) A prohibition on retaliation for reporting sexual harassment allegations, including availability of whistleblower protections under the Ethics Act, the Whistleblower Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act; and

iv) The consequences of a violation of the prohibition on sexual harassment and the consequences for knowingly making a false report.

Most governmental entities, school districts, and community colleges will already have a policy on sexual harassment which contains several of the elements required by Public Act 100-0554.  However, such entities should review and update their policies to include all required information.

IASB has announced that it intends to release, in January 2018, revisions to the following model policies in response to this law: Policy 2:260 (“Uniform Grievance Procedure”) and Policy 5:20 (“Workplace Harassment Prohibited”). For municipalities, the IML has created a model policy and ordinance.

Prior to modifying your harassment policy or adopting a resolution or ordinance, we encourage you to contact your Robbins Schwartz attorney(s) to ensure these items comply with the Act.