On July 14, 2020, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) released guidance for employers regarding the state’s new “adverse judgment or administrative ruling” reporting requirement. Following amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act, employers with at least one adverse judgment or administrative ruling must disclose to the IDHR the total number of final, non-appealable judgments or final, non-appealable rulings against the employer in which there was a finding of sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination.
The guidance released this month resolves ambiguity by clarifying employers’ deadlines for reporting to the IDHR. The deadline to report for calendar year 2019 is now October 31, 2020, and the reporting deadline will be July 1 for subsequent years.
The reporting requirement is not limited to employers with a physical presence in Illinois. As the guidance reiterates, the reporting requirement applies to “any person employing one or more employees in Illinois.”
The guidance defines an “adverse judgment or administrative ruling” as a “final and non-appealable judgment that finds sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination.” Judgments and rulings entered outside Illinois must also be reported. If an employer received no such judgments or rulings in the prior year, no filing is required. Decisions in unemployment insurance proceedings are excluded.
The IDHR provides a reporting form for employers to use (available at the link below), which may be submitted via mail or email. Only the number of adverse judgments and rulings per protected characteristic needs to be disclosed. Employers are explicitly prohibited from reporting the names of victims of sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination.
Employers are also not required to report settlements as part of their annual disclosures but the IDHR has the right to request that an employer submit the total number of settlements entered into during the preceding five years as part of its investigation of a charge of discrimination.
Penalties for non-compliance with the reporting requirement range from $500 to $5,000 depending on the size of the employer and the number of offenses.
The IDHR’s guidance and the reporting form can be found on the IDHR website: https://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/Pages/default.aspx. Contact your Reed Smith attorney if you have any questions about your obligations under Illinois law.