In August, 2009, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a measure that requires all institutions of higher education covered by the Illinois Human Rights Act to inform their student bodies of the illegality of sexual harassment. According to the new law, Public Act 96-574, every institution is required to post in a prominent and accessible location a poster outlining sexual harassment laws and policies. In order to meet the posting requirements, one of the following options must be selected via the Illinois Department of Human Rights website. The posting options are:
- Post and keep posted at each campus in common area locations easily accessible to all students including, but not limited to residence halls, administration buildings, student unions, cafeterias, and libraries; or
- Post annually at each campus in common area locations easily accessible to all students including, but not limited to, residence halls, administration buildings, student unions, cafeterias, and libraries, with an electronic copy of the sexual harassment laws and policies also sent to each student at the time registration materials are emailed; or
- On campuses that provide for online registration of student classes, such information pertaining to sexual harassment laws and policies may be included with the registration materials so that students must review and acknowledge receipt prior to registering.
In order to ensure that compliance is complete and uniform, the Illinois Department of Human Rights is providing the displays for posting and the language to be sent electronically. You can download all postings and information necessary for full Compliance Posting of Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. Read more about Public Act 96-574.
Please note: All institutions affected by this law must be in compliance on or prior to December 19, 2014. Failure to comply may result in the Department initiating a preliminary charge, issuing a notice to show cause, and possibly initiating a charge of a civil rights violation. Please be sure to fill out and return the SURVEY by December 19, 2014.
I believe that we share a common goal in making sure that students have the ability to learn in an environment that is free of sexual harassment, because sexual harassment is never okay. This new law helps to inform students of their rights and of the help available should they have a need. If you require additional assistance or would like to continue receiving updates from IDHR, please email Betsy Ebeling.
Rocco J. Claps
Director, Illinois Department of Human Rights