Harassment Prevention Training Bills: Chicago, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts 

Chicago, Florida WOKE bill, and pending harassment training bills

As part of Emtrain’s community, we want to ensure you’re in the know of upcoming state harassment training and bills that will impact your organization, so you stay on top (and ahead) of what’s to come. Here is a breakdown of what to look out for in the next 6 months.

Chicago Harassment Training

In April 2022, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations created a new City ordinance that applies to all employers with employees who work at a location, site, or office within the City of Chicago. In addition, the new City ordinance expands the amount of sexual harassment prevention training required of managers and employees who work in Illinois.

Emtrain is retaining a Chicago lobbyist to see if we can modify this City training ordinance and we will update clients as we have further information. Why? Because the City’s ordinance is well-intentioned, but not well thought out. It more than doubles the training requirement imposed by the State of California – currently the most rigorous training mandate in the country. And it creates an obstacle for multi-state employers who could otherwise sponsor one consistent harassment training program for managers and employees across all states (except for a 2-hour requirement in Connecticut).  

Under Chicago’s new harassment training requirements, all employees in physical offices or work locations are required to take the following:

  • One hour of sexual harassment preventing training
  • One hour of bystander intervention
  • Supervisors and managers are required to take an additional one hour of prevention training, a total of 3 hours. 

These training requirements are on an annual basis and the ordinance goes into effect on July 1, 2022. Companies with employees in Chicago must fulfill this new training requirement by June 30, 2023.

Emtrain’s 2-hour and 1-hour harassment prevention courses comply with the new Chicago City ordinance. Additionally, Emtrain’s 1-hour bystander training program is now available, to complete the required training. Contact us to learn more!

You can find more information about this harassment training ordinance here:  https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cchr/supp_info/sexual-harassment.html

Florida’s “Stop Woke” Law

Organizations may also be worried about Florida’s ‘Stop Woke’ law (Florida HB7). None of Emtrain’s courses or lessons should pose a problem or violate Florida law. Emtrain’s courses and microlessons do not address historical discrimination. Our microlessons address pattern matching, which is very different than the prohibitions in the Florida law, e.g., teaching that some are:

  • morally superior
  • inherently racist
  • privileged/oppressed due to race, sex, etc.
  • bears responsibility for …
  • should feel guilt or anguish, and so forth.

Clearly, Emtrain does not teach any of the concepts identified in Florida’s new law.

Pending Bills in New Jersey and Massachusetts

Lastly, our community should know we’re watching two harassment training bills circulating in the state legislatures of New Jersey and Massachusetts. The proposed Massachusetts bill was referred in May to the Joint Labor and Workforce Development Committee for consideration. As currently drafted, the bill would require live trainers for a 2-hour workshop every year, as well as a climate survey to identify workforce risks. The proposed bill in New Jersey was also referred to their Senate Labor Committee and would require live classroom, synchronous training every other year. Emtrain is in the process of retaining lobbyists to influence the bills in both Massachusetts and New Jersey to ensure a coherent, consistent training strategy on respect and harassment for multi-state employers, but we do not anticipate any material changes to training requirements for 2022. We will continue to update our community as we track potential legislative changes into next year.

Subscribe to the Emtrain newsletter to get updates! Request a demo to learn how Emtrain’s courses can meet the mandated training for your state. 


harassment training
Janine Yancey
Business Compliance & Workplace Culture Expert
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