You may have heard about Illinois Senate Bill 75, the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act, Illinois SB75 or a number of other terms referencing a new Illinois sexual harassment law. Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed this bill into law, mandating annual sexual harassment training for businesses.
Here are four must-know details about the law and how it’ll impact you in 2020 and beyond:
Took Effect January 1, 2020
As of 2020, all employers in Illinois are required to train their employees. The new Illinois workplace harassment laws require annual training, which must cover the following:
What is sexual harassment?
What is unlawful sexual harassment?
What are the federal and state statutory provisions (including the remedies available to the victims of sexual harassment)?
What are the responsibilities of the employers for prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment?
If employers don’t comply with the Illinois workplace bullying law, they will encounter penalties, including fines of up $1,000.
2. Mandates Leave of Absence for Victims
SB 75 Illinois aims to help those who are victims of gender-related violence to seek help as needed. This could apply to victims of domestic, sexual or gender violence and even workplace harassment to take unpaid leave to seek medical assistance, legal, help, safety planning, counseling or any other required assistance. If you ever have need to take time off work for this reason, know that you can do so under this law for your own health and well-being.
3. Prevents Unions from Representing Both Victim and Alleged Harasser
The Illinois harassment training law also looks out for how those involved in workplace harassment cases are represented. It prevents the victim and alleged harasser from being represented by the same body to prevent a conflict of interest.
4. Extends Harassment Protection to Contractors
Previously, the Illinois Human Rights Act only covered employees from harassment and discrimination. Now, under Illinois senate bill 75, independent contractors and consultants will also be protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. Regardless of the level of involvement in the workplace, Illinois sexual harassment law everyone deserves to have the same security against unwanted interactions.
And there you have it! Four must-knows about the Illinois harassment laws
that will impact your workplace in 2020 and beyond. Training is essential, so be sure to get sexual harassment prevention training now!
March marks the beginning of spring, bringing warmer weather, new growth, and a colorful variety of events celebrating diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions.
Our March 2020 Diversity Calendar commemorates influential individuals and multicultural festivities that make this month diverse and inclusive. Greater respect and inclusion is one of the benefits of diversity training in the workplace.
One of the key March diversity celebrations is Women’s History Month, honoring the powerful females that fought for equality, freedom and acceptance.
March 3rd – Hispanic American/Women: Geisha Williams
March diversity topics highlight the accomplishments of women. Geisha Williams is the first Latina woman to run a Fortune 500 company. Immigrating from Cuba over 50 years ago, Williams received an engineering degree at the University of Miami, after which she climbed the ladder to success. She was named one of Fortune’s most powerful women in 2017 and, up until January of 2019, she was the CEO of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
March 6th – Black American/Muslim: Shaquille O’Neal
March diversity month includes the birthday of Shaquille O’Neal. An American NBA superstar, O’Neal revealed in 2010 that he’s a practicing Muslim, as was his step-father. He plans to to partake in the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. O’Neal played professionally for the NBA for 19 years, before announcing his retirement.
March 9th – Hindu: Holi
One of the most colorful of March multicultural holidays, Holi is a traditional Hindu festival. Referred to as the “Festival of Spring”, it’s celebrated widely in India. This social event marks the beginning of the spring harvest and is a time for forgiveness, friendship, love, and a commemoration of personal and seasonal growth. For more interfaith events, see our religious calendar 2020.
March 10th – Black American: Harriet Tubman
One of the key March diversity days. Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Tubman escaped her captors in 1849 and became one of America’s best-known heroes. She aided hundreds of slaves to freedom through the complex tunnels in the Underground Railroad. She later dedicated her life to aiding former plantation workers and the elderly.
March 14th – Jewish German American: Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist. He created the theory of relativity and received the Nobel Peace Prize for Physics in 1921 for his involvement in the development of quantum theory. His contribution to science is legendary, allowing for generations of education and technological advancements.
March 17th – Irish: St Patrick’s Day
One the more beloved March diversity events, this celebration honors the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Traditionally it’s held on March 17th, the official day of his death. Although a festive occasion for many, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and is a religious observance within many sects of Christianity and Catholicism.
March 31st – Mexican American: Cesar Chavez
Our March multicultural calendar concludes with Cesar Chavez. A Latino American civil rights activist, Chavez fought for freedom and equality, and co-founded the “The United Farm Workers (UFW) Union.” His work within the community helped improve the lives of countless union labor workers.
March blossoms with celebrations, commemorating the people who made history and changed the world. Each diverse individual and holiday celebrated in March has shaped history and positively influenced generations that followed. To discover more upcoming diversity events, see our 2020 Diversity Calendar
Growing up, you may have loved February for Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day or Presidents’ Day that rewarded you with a day off from work or school.
But our February 2020 Diversity Calendar holds much more than a few nationally recognized days of celebration. It’s a month packed full of opportunities for diversity shouts-out: women, Blacks, Christians, Buddhists, and LGBTQ+, which is essential for diversity training in the workplace. Here are the events you should mark on your calendar in February 2020.
Get ready to celebrate February diversity month – all month long! Black History Month is part of a greater history of recognition. The theme for 2020 is “African Americans and the Vote.” The observance began in 1915 when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland started the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This group sponsored the very first “Negro Week.” It was held in February, coinciding with the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the commemoration was expanded to a full month by President Ford. For more information, visit The Association for the Study of African American Life and History
2/11 – LGBTQ+: Tammy Baldwin
Our February diversity days include Baldwin’s birthday. In 2012, Baldwin made headlines and history as she became the first openly LGBTQ+ politician elected to the U.S. Congress. She was also the first Wisconsin woman elected to the Senate. In an era when representation matters, she demonstrates to all the importance of diverse voices in government leadership. For more, check out our LGBTQ+ sensitivity training.
2/15 – Buddhist: Nirvana Day
February multicultural celebrations include Nirvana Day, or Parinirvana, an annual Buddhist festival. It commemorates Buddha’s death in 483 BC and his final nirvana. Many Buddhists celebrate Nirvana Day by visiting Buddhist temples or monasteries and meditating. Even if you’re not Buddhist, why not spend the day in reflection? The concept of nirvana speaks to death, rebirth, and spiritual enlightening until one is relieved of all suffering. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Religious Holidays Calendar.
2/15 – Women: Susan B. Anthony Day
Happy Birthday to Susan B. Anthony – one of the key February diversity events! As one of the most revered women in the women’s suffrage movement, Anthony led the effort that enabled women play an active part in our government today. On this day, remember not only Anthony but the cause she stood for. Encourage those in your community (women or men!) to register to vote in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election.
2/21 – Black, Women: Barbara Jordan
Our February diversity topics include firsts by Black women. Individuals like Barbara Jordan help us remember how far the U.S. has come in history. She was the first Black woman elected to the Texas State Senate and became known as an eloquent individual during the Watergate impeachment of President Nixon. Her emphasis on local issues illustrates to all of us that we can strive to make change in our communities on the issues that matter to us.
2/26 – Christian: Ash Wednesday
For Christians everywhere, Ash Wednesday is an important day that begins the Easter season. Our February multicultural celebrations include the start of this period: the 40 days (not including Sundays) of “Lenten” that lead up to Easter. You’ll often hear people refer to Ash Wednesday as the start of Lent. It’s customary for Christians to “give up” something during this time to show mourning and repentance for their sins. Why not do the same? Regardless of your belief system, perform random acts of kindness to others on this day. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar.
And that wraps up the calendar for this month! Be sure to keep in mind each of these individuals and events, to reflect on how diversity has contributed to this country and your life. To plan out the coming year, see our 2020 Diversity Calendar
Diversity is a factor in every part of our society, and every workplace. But perhaps more than any other business, diversity impacts healthcare. First, not everyone needs every product. But everyone needs healthcare, whether white or of color, US-born or immigrant, English-speaking or not, straight or LGBTQ+, etc.
I am grateful to be partnered with a healthcare professional, Kelly. And she will tell you that for many healthcare customers, a visit to an urgent care or hospital might be one of the most intense days of their life – or perhaps their last. And thus religion is more likely to come into play, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist.
A diversity awareness training program for health professionals has a clear objective. The goal is to provide the same standard of care to everyone, regardless of religion, culture, language, gender identity and more. To do so, you must give your staff the tools they need to understand, effectively communicate, and interact with people across all cultures.
Let’s explore the key steps your healthcare organization can take on how to improve cultural competence in healthcare. Your staff should be educated, armed with resources, and have daily practices that foster a more culturally competent work environment.
Assess your team: Collect REAL (race, ethnicity, and language preference) information from your team to start a plan to include all team members and provide a work environment that fits their needs.
Cultural competence in healthcare training enables staff to be culturally competent. They’re also better prepared to understand the unique needs of other cultures. Through online diversity training, your healthcare professionals can learn and grow the appropriate skills. Other powerful tools include diversity training videos, and live diversity training services.
Evaluate current programs: If you already have diversity training in place, evaluate how effective your current training programs are for your medical staff. If you see gaps in the training, it may be time to look at a custom training. With a custom plan, you can focus on areas where your staff needs help, while celebrating the triumphs your organization has made to become more culturally competent.
Cultural Competence in Healthcare Examples
Dietary considerations: Healthcare staff should be trained in the dietary and religious needs of their patients. Many cultures have special dietary considerations that should be noted. For example, ensure your staff doesn’t offer pork or shellfish to Jewish for Muslim patients.
Religious considerations: If your workplace offers a chaplain, consider adding a rabbi, imam, and spiritual counselors of other religious affiliations to your on-call staff. Have the appropriate type of religious leader available for patients in crisis, and for your staff.
Prayer facilities: Many healthcare facilities are replacing chapels with inter-faith worship spaces to serve the needs of more religious preferences. A non-denominational prayer and meditation room can serve as an inclusive sacred space for staff and patients of all religious backgrounds.
How to Improve Cultural Competence in Healthcare: Daily Practice
Daily practice: Management needs to take an active role in daily building of an accepting and culturally competent workplace setting. Every day presents opportunities for growth, and your management team needs to understand how to teach cultural competence in healthcare.
Diversity calendar: cultural competency training in healthcare includes giving your management team the the tools they need for daily inclusion. A diversity calendar is essential for management and staff for both respectful scheduling and diversity celebrations.
Respectful scheduling: When your management staff is empowered with a diversity calendar, they’re able to respect the scheduling needs of all staff based on their culture. For example, your teams will know not to schedule Jewish healthcare team members during key holiday such as Passover or Rosh Hashanah.
Heritage celebrations: Celebrate the differences between your staff and patients by celebrating heritage. By following a diversity calendar, your staff can plan culturally appropriate celebrations for Black History Month, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and other inter-faith and religious celebrations.
January is packed full of opportunities to celebrate influential people who shaped our country into a more accepting society. Bring in the new year by recognizing these great people, and share your pride in your own inclusion journey.
1/1 – Emancipation Proclamation Slaves were granted freedom in 1863
One of the most important January diversity events. January 1, 1863, changed the history of America. With an ongoing Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave rights to slaves, and proclaimed that they should be set free. While our country still struggles with race issues today, celebrating this stepping stone toward ending racism helps us connect with each other.
1/8 – Stephen Hawking Being disabled doesn’t have to stop you from reaching great heights
January diversity topics include people with disabilities. Stephen Hawking showed us that we all have different abilities and strengths, while sharing his great mind with the world. Not only was he a groundbreaking physicist, but his fundraising and research helped create worldwide change in the rights of disabled persons.
1/17 – Muhammad Ali Celebrate the life of an American Muslim
This January diversity day is an opportunity for religious inclusion. We called him “The Greatest” because it was true both inside the ring and out. Muhammad Ali fought his way to the top in his boxing career and used his influence to fight for the rights of all people. His Islamic duty of charity expanded to help disadvantaged people of every religion, and created a greater understanding of Muslim culture.
1/20 – Martin Luther King Jr Day National holiday celebrating pioneering leader in civil rights
The top January diversity celebration is Martin Luther King Jr Day, also called Civil Rights Day in some states across the nation, celebrates the life of one of the most influential Civil Rights activists. MLJK Jr paved the way for equality of all people, and inspires people of all backgrounds to work together to this day.
1/25 – Chinese New Year A three-day celebration ringing in the Year of the Rat
Key January multicultural holidays include Chinese New Year, a time for family, celebration, and new beginnings. Red envelope gifts of “lucky money” are given to children from elders to ward off evil spirits while entering the new year. In this digital age, many who celebrate are sending virtual luck money to family members across the sea. Recognizing Chinese New Year means bringing in luck and letting go of negativity from the last year, something we could all practice more.
1/26 – Ellen Degeneres turns 62 Leading influencer on public attitudes toward LGBTQ+ rights
Another January diversity topic is LGBTQ+ leaders. Ellen DeGeneres has been inspiring people to connect with each other and create a better understanding of LGBTQ+ rights since the late ‘90s. She uses her wide platform of followers to showcase amazing talent from around the world, and connects us all through comedy. Her coming out on television in 1997 sparked a trend of acceptance and empowered others to come out as well.
1/29 – Oprah Winfrey turns 66 Often ranked the world’s most influential woman
Concluding our January diversity month, is the birthday of Oprah Winfrey. She has been inspiring people to reach for their goals for decades. Coming from humble roots and growing up in poverty, she shows us that we all have the power to change our circumstances. She is not just a powerful Black American woman, but a powerhouse of influence to all people.
This is a popular new feature: all key events on one page, perfect for desktops, D&I pages and printing.
The full Online Diversity Calendar lists every diversity and inclusion event, averaging more than 150 events per month!
The new Month-at-a-Glance feature focuses the most important events, on one page. It’s perfect for
adding to your D&I page
You’ll find Month-at-a-Glance on the calendar navigation:
Because you can print and post your own diversity calendar, it’s like having a printed calendar – free – with your subscription.
Language translation is another awesome new feature included with subscriptions. With one click, you can enjoy the Online Diversity Calendar in virtually any language.
This is useful for global organizations, as well as showing respect to growing immigrant populations in many countries.
One of the most important facets of awareness and inclusions is dietary restrictions. This is particularly true with religions.
The Online Diversity Calendar now lists dietary considerations for the five major religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. This is essential for respectful inclusion, whether at company events or on-site dining.
You’ll find dietary considerations in the index (see screenshot below), as well as via the dietary considerations icon on all events for major religions.
If you’re a subscriber, all these new features are live and included with your subscription.
According to a Harvard University study, diversity initiatives don’t work unless awareness and inclusion is a daily practice. Being aware of ethnic holidays is key for respectful scheduling and creating inclusion, 365 days a year.
October heralds the wonderful colors of autumn. That makes October an ideal time to better see – and appreciate – our colorful differences and similarities. Indeed, there are three major October diversity month themes below.
To help you, here are 7 multicultural events in October 2019. These diversity holidays might respectful scheduling – such as Yom Kippur. Others offer an opportunity to give a shout out to diverse groups, ranging from LGBTQ+ to people with disabilities. Check out our Online Diversity Calendar™ to see all upcoming 2019 diversity holidays and get inclusion tips for your employees.
October 2019: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also called National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the USA, is an annual international health campaign. It’s promoted by major breast cancer charities every October, to increase awareness of the disease, and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
Another October diversity event in 2019 is Global Diversity Awareness Month. Global diversity awareness focuses on understanding differing cultural perspectives, and valuing the diverse perspectives of all people from all places. Fueled by the belief that workforce diversity is a major business advantage, global diversity awareness promotes cultural diversity training and an inclusive global environment.
October 9, 2019 – Jewish : Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
A key October multicultural holiday is Yom Kippur. The ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are known as the Days of Awe or the Days of Repentance. During this time Jews are to remind themselves of their sins, and seek forgiveness for their wrongdoings. Many Jews observe Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday, by taking no food or water from sundown the day before through sundown the following day. It is also common for Jews not to work the night before or day of Yom Kippur. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar
October 10 – People with Disabilities : World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. The federation is a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Every October 10, advocates promote this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness, as well as promote workplace wellness training .
October 11 – LGBTQ+ : National Coming Out Day/March on Washington
The key LGBTQ+ diversity event in October. On this day in 1987, saw the largest gay and lesbian gathering in history, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 600,000 protestors. The crowd protested anti-gay discrimination, and demanded a stronger government response to the AIDS crisis.
October 27, 2019 – Hindu : Diwali
A major October diversity holiday, Diwali is one of the most important annual festivals in the Hindu religion. Lasting five days, Diwali encompasses a variety of festivals, celebrating various gods and goddesses, and events in their lives. Since Diwali is a ‘festival of lights,’ candles are an appropriate gift.
National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15
Leading our September multicultural calendar is National Hispanic Heritage Month. Launched in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week, the celebration includes September 15 and 16, the independence days for Central American nations and Mexico, respectively. In 1988, the period was expanded to National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Each year the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers and the Hispanic Foundation select a theme for the month, and commission a poster to reflect that theme. An important part of respecting Hispanics is being aware of communication differences, as explored in this training video on cross cultural communication.
This Hindu festival is a key diversity holiday in Sept. 2019. It’s celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed god, Ganesha, usually in August or September. The festival generally lasts ten days, and is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar
September 16 – Mexico : Independence Day (El Día de Independencia)
On September 16, 1810, in the town of Dolores in the province of Guanajuato, a handful of people were summoned by a parish priest to take up arms against the Spanish colonial government. This began the fight for independence that ended 350 years of Spanish rule. Celebrated by people of Mexican origin throughout the world, this is a day when Mexican Americans often hang Mexican flags at their homes.
September 20 – Black American : Ursula Burns
‘I’m a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York. Not a lot intimidates me. Believe that there are no limitations, no barriers to your success — you will be empowered and you will achieve.’ -Ursula Burns
Diversity events include the birthdays of diversity leaders, such as Ursula M. Burns (September 20, 1958 – ). Burns is an American business executive, and the first black woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. In 2014, Forbes rated her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world.
September 20 – Women : HeForShe
HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by the United Nations. Founded on September 20th, 2014, it’s backed by a number of celebrities, notably actress Emma Watson.
Its goal is to achieve equality by encouraging all genders as agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes and behaviors, faced by people with feminine personalities/genders. Sexual harassment prevention training is key to gender equality.
September 25 – People with Disabilities : Christopher Reeve (1952-2004)
Christopher Reeve was an actor, including starring in the hist Superman, as well as acting in 17 feature films, a dozen TV movies, and more than 150 plays. His career was cut short after an equestrian accident. Reeve landed head first, fracturing the uppermost vertebrae in his spine, instantly paralyzing him from the neck down. After a grueling effort to regain his ability to breathe and speak, Reeve became an advocate for research on healing spinal cord injuries. He became Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. He also became a national spokesperson for and raised funds in support of stem cell research.
September 30, 2019 – Jewish : Rosh Hashanah (New Year) (9/30-10/1)
Rounding out our September 2019 diversity calendar is Rosh Hashanah. Like most Jewish holidays, it begins at sundown the evening before the first (full) day of the holiday. Rosh Hashanah signifies the beginning of the Days of Awe, a period of serious reflection about the past year and the year to come. This period, which continues until Yom Kippur, is a time for asking forgiveness from both God and other people, and committing oneself to live a better life in the year to come.
“The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.” -Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II (1961- ) is an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He was the first Black American to assume the presidency. Obama promoted inclusiveness for LGBT Americans. His administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges). Obama left office in January 2017 with a 60% approval rating and currently resides in Washington, D.C.
August 9, 2019 – United Nations : International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
First proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly in 1994, this is a day to celebrate the unique cultures of indigenous peoples around the world.
August 10, 2019 – Islamic : The Hajj (8/10-8/14)
The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. All Muslims who are able are required to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. The Hajj is a time for reflection and celebration, when more than two million Muslims from around the world gather together to celebrate their faith. The culmination of the Hajj is the three-day festival of Eid al-Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice), the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.
August 24, 2019 – People with Disabilities : Marlee Matlin
‘It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I’m not crazy about using.’ -Marlee Matlin
Marlee Beth Matlin (born August 24, 1965) is an American actress, author and activist. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Children of a Lesser God, to date the only deaf performer to have won the award. Matlin is a prominent member of the National Association of the Deaf. In recognition of her philanthropic work and her advocacy for the inclusion of people with disabilities, Matlin received the 2016 Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion, given to one individual whose work excels at promoting disability inclusion.
August 26, 2019 – Italian American : Geraldine Ferraro (1935-2011)
Lawyer and politician. Ferraro was the first woman and the first Italian American to run on a major party national ticket. In 1984, she ran as Walter Mondale’s vice presidential running mate on the Democratic Party ticket in the presidential election. She served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights under the Clinton Administration. Ferraro was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994.
August 26, 2019 – United States : Women’s Equality Day
A law passed by Congress in 1974 sets this day aside to mark the certification in 1920 of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The 19th Amendment prohibits discrimination in voting based on gender.
August 31, 2019 – Islamic : Islamic New Year (Hijri)
This begins the first day of Muharram of the new year 1441 based on the Islamic lunar calendar. Recognizing the festival/holiday: any sweet dessert is an appropriate gift. Muslims do not drink alcoholic beverages.