As of January 1, 2020, a person seeking to renew their professional license issued by the Illinois Division of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) must complete a one-hour continuing education course in sexual harassment prevention. This is to be done for every renewal after January 1, 2020, and does not increase the number of required CPE credits for renewal. However, those renewing for the first time do not need to meet this requirement. The training must be provided by IDFPR-approved continuing education providers. It can be administered in a classroom setting, as a webinar or on-line.

Topics to be included in the course, at a minimum, are:

1. What is sexual harassment, including its forms and types;
2. What should one do if one experiences or witnesses unwelcome sexual contact;
3. Reporting sexual harassment within one’s place of employment and to outside entities, such as the Illinois Department of Human Rights; and
4. Whistleblower protections.

Approved sponsors for the training include State of Illinois agencies, federal agencies, accredited colleges, Illinois municipalities, and any business or entity with an active continuing education provider license issued by the IDFPR.

This requirement was enacted by the General Assembly in the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois Section 2105-15.5.

Noel Allen, NASBA external legal counsel, notes, “While Illinois might be the only state having adopted such an explicit requirement for licensees, several states already require sexual harassment training for state employees or private employees, or both.” States that require such training for their employees include: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia (legislative branch) and Washington. Various size private employers are also required by state law to have such training for their employees, including those in: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, and New York.

“There were dozens of bills introduced in state legislatures in the past two years regarding ‘sexual harassment training,’ so the picture is still developing,” Mr. Allen observed.

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