Gov. Pritzker signs legislation aimed at prevention of sexual harassment


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEHT) – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed comprehensive legislation on Friday that is aimed at preventing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

The legislation is also an attempt to protect victims when they come forward.

“Sexual harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the state of Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Ending the culture of sexism and sexual harassment in workplaces across our state takes a comprehensive approach, and I’m proud that this bi-partisan unanimously-passed legislation – led by Senator Melinda Bush and Representative Ann Williams – strengthens workplace protections to hold abusers and enablers accountable. This commonsense law makes it clear that the days of turning a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace are over.”

The Workplace Transparency Act makes it easier for employees to report allegations to federal, state, or local officials. It also requires prevention training for certain businesses and makes harassment against contract employees illegal.

The Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act makes sure that a victim and the accused perpetrator are not represented by the same union representative.

The Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act requires employees who work in isolated spaces to have panic buttons to use. It also bans employer retaliation for an employee disclosing, reporting, or testifying about sexual harassment or assault.

The legislation will also require state officers, employees, and lobbyists to participate in annual harassment and discrimination prevention training.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2020.

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(This story was originally published on August 9, 2019)

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