Chicago Mandatory Bystander Intervention Training

Chicago Mandatory Bystander Intervention Training

Did you know? 

Chicago: Now Requires Both Sexual Harassment Training and Bystander Intervention Training Requirements: 

  • Non-supervisory employees: 1 hour of sexual harassment prevention training +  one hour of bystander intervention training


  • Supervisors: 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training + one hour of bystander intervention training

Chicago Bystander Intervention Training Requirements 

Chicago requires that all employees receive the first annual set of required training by June 30, 2023. Employers may be fined for each day they are out of compliance. 

  • Definition of Bystander Intervention?
  • Who is considered a bystander?
  • Benefits of Bystander Intervention in the workplace?
  • Liabilities for employees choosing not to intervene?
  • Simple employee practices for employees for bystander interventions.
  • What are positive results to bystander intervention? 


What is Bystander Intervention 

Bystander intervention in the workplace is when an observer, or ” bystander”, steps in to address inappropriate or unprofessional behavior they observe happening to others in the workplace.


Bystanders intervene to disrupt and often redirect harassing behavior and language to support a coworker. 

Victims and bystanders may not come forward and report incidents of harassment due to fear of retaliation.  In reality, there are many positive impacts on the workplace when employees do jump in.


Instead of fear, employees can ask themselves, “What benefits could happen if I do step in and offer support and help?”. 

Retaliation for reporting harassment and other forms of hostile work environment are illegal and punishable by law if employers engage in this.


The liability from employees choosing not to intervene as a bystander can be labeled the “Bystander Effect” resulting in fostering a toxic workplace enabling bullies to flourish and influence the workplace environment. 

Bystander Intervention Training Should Cover: 

Barriers to Bystander Intervention At Work

  • Social Barriers
  • Situational Barriers 


Bystander Intervention Training: 

  • Assess the situation: in real time to determine when to intervene
  • Know how to intervene: Practice techniques and effective communication skills designed to de-escalate harmful situations
  • Direct and Indirect Intervention: Intervene directly or in a less confrontational manner
  • Seek Assistance/Engage others, such as coworkers, security personnel, or supervisors, to intervene
  • Delay Taking Action: When immediate intervention may not be helpful, take action later
  • Where and How to report complaints not managed by employer


Bystander Intervention For Managers: In addition to the above, Managers

  • Corrective Measures and Employer Responsibility and Investigation
  • Prevent, Investigate and Correct


Positive Results from bystander intervention includes workplace cohesiveness, improved corporate culture and sharing of responsibility. 


What can you expect from a Bystander Intervention training?

  • One to 2 hours of training, live virtual or onsite, face to face
  • Slides and Training Content
  • Bystander Intervention Training Certificate of Completion


Sexual Harassment Training should cover: 

  1. Definition of sexual harassment 
  2. How to prevent and confront sexual harassment behaviors 
  3. Employer responsibilities for prevention, investigation, and corrective measures 
  4. Remedies available to victims 
  5. Along with a summary of federal, state, and local laws, 


  • Employers must have a written sexual harassment prevention policy 
  • Additionally, employers must post a sexual harassment state required notice in the workplace.
  • New employees must receive and review the policy within their first week of employment. 

Failure to comply with the ordinance can result in penalties of $5,000–$10,000 per violation. 


Get started now by providing bystander intervention training either on its own or combine it with your annual or bi-annual sexual harassment training.


Contact Employee Harassment Training for More information 

Phone number:  (707) 282-9193


**What is the bystander effect, “Bystander Effect”? – A unique psychological phenomenon where employees are less likely to help a victim at work when others are present. 

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