Enacted in 2019, the Illinois Human Rights Act (the “Act” or “IHRA”) prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, financial credit, public accommodations, housing and sexual harassment, as well as sexual harassment in education. Beginning in 2020, the Act requires employers to disclose to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) adverse judgments or administrative rulings related to discrimination claims against them. The IDHR has recently released guidance in the form of an FAQ for Employers clarifying the disclosure responsibilities and this article provides an overview of these requirements, as well as the requirement to provide annual sexual harassment training to all employees under the Act.

Which Employers are Subject to the IHRA Reporting Requirements?

While the reporting requirement applies to any employer that employs one or more employees in Illinois, only those employers that had an adverse judgment or administrative ruling during the reporting period will need to file a reporting form.

What is an “adverse judgement or administrative ruling?”

An “adverse judgment or administrative ruling” means any final and non-appealable judgment that finds sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination, where the ruling is in the employee’s favor and against an employer. For examples, see IHRA Section 2-108(A)(3). Reportable adverse judgments or administrative rulings include those in Illinois and any other jurisdiction nationwide. Employers do not need to report settlements as part of this annual disclosure.

What is the Annual Reporting Requirement?

Beginning July 1, 2020, and by each July 1st thereafter, each employer that had an adverse judgment or administrative ruling against it in the preceding calendar year must disclose annually to the IDHR, the following information:

  1. the total number of adverse judgments or administrative rulings during the preceding year;
  2. whether any equitable relief was ordered; and
  3. the number of adverse judgements or administrative rulings entered against the employer within the following specific categories outlined in Section 2-108(B):
    1. Sexual harassment;
    2. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, disability sex, race, color, national origin, religion, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
    3. Discrimination on the basis of any other characteristic protected under the IHRA.

What is the Upcoming Schedule of Annual Reporting?

For the calendar year 2019, the filing deadline is October 31, 2020. Thereafter, the annual filing deadline is on July 1 of each year.

Reporting PeriodFiling Deadline
January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019October 31, 2020 
January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020 July 1, 2021 
January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021July 1, 2022

How does an Employer Report?

Employers can file their Section 2-108 disclosure report for calendar year 2019 with IDHR by downloading Form IDHR 2-108 and filing it with IDHR on or before October 31, 2020. Employers may also provide the report electronically by emailing it to IDHR.Webmail@illinois.gov on or before October 31, 2020. It is anticipated that the IDHR will release an updated version of this form annually to reflect the applicable reporting year.

Questions regarding this form may be directed to IDHR.Section2-108@Illinois.gov or (312)814- 6262.

What are the Penalties for Non-compliance?

The civil penalties for failure to report are based on the number of violations and on the number of employees:

  • For employers with fewer than 4 employees, the maximum penalty for a first offense is $500, a second offense is $1,000, and third and subsequent offenses are $3,000.
  • For employers with 4 or more employees, the maximum penalty for a first offense is $1,000, a second offense is $3,000, and third and subsequent offenses are $5,000.

What is the Sexual Harassment Training Requirement?

As of January 1, 2020, every employer with employees working in the state of Illinois is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training on a calendar year basis that complies with Section 2-109 of the IHRA. Employers must have trained all employees by December 31, 2020. The IDHR has made a model program publicly available which an employer may use to meet the training requirement. Alternatively, employers may develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training outlined in Section 2-109(B) and/or Section 2-110(C) of IHRA.

For more information, please review the IDHR Frequently Asked Questions page on sexual harassment prevention training.

Sequoia One Clients Only: Sequoia One assists clients to meet their training requirements by partnering with ThinkHR to bring you access to various state-wide harassment prevention training programs and resources. Please reach out to your dedicated HR Business partner for more information.

Employer Considerations

In light of the upcoming October 31st reporting deadline for calendar year 2019, any employer that has one or more employees in Illinois should review their litigation and administrative matters from 2019 and consult with counsel to determine whether reporting to the IDHR is necessary.

Additional Resources

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Lizet Ramirez – Lizet is a Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia One, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Lizet enjoys live music, travel, hiking and spa days.