Macomb – On Friday, August 9th, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law omnibus legislation protecting victims of sexual harassment in the workplace by expanding victims’ rights and encouraging employers to adopt sexual harassment training programs, among other changes regarding the regulation of sexual harassment. State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) was a chief co-sponsor of the legislation.
“No person should ever have to face sexual harassment in the workplace or any other environment,” said Rep. Hammond. “It is my hope that this legislation empowers victims with legal tools they need to seek justice, and we can work to stop sexual harassment from occurring in the first place. While this law is sweeping and historic, our work is not over. We all must work to change the culture in our workplaces so we can put an end to sexual harassment and all other type of discrimination once and for all.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 75 (SB75), limits the use of certain contracts in instances involving harassment, such as non-disclosure agreements, which inhibit the ability of employees to report harassment in the workplace. SB75 also extends legal protections to non-salaried employees, such as contractual workers and consultants, who are victims of harassment. Under the legislation, unions are precluded from representing both the accused harasser and the victim of harassment in internal disciplinary proceedings.
SB 75 also requires the Illinois Department of Human Rights to make a model workplace training program against sexual harassment available to employers and the public at large. Employers will be required to provide sexual harassment training to their employees at least once a year. SB 75 clarifies the rights of victims who file harassment complaints to the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) or Executive Inspector General (EIG). The LIG and EIG investigate allegations of harassment concerning state employees and lawmakers
SB75 passed both the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate unanimously.