Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Governor signs bill aimed at 'changing culture' in workplace
By Jerry Nowicki, Capitol News Illinois
2019-08-09

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed into law a measure aimed at preventing workplace sexual harassment and protecting victims who come forward.

The measure, Senate Bill 75, was unanimously passed in both the state House and Senate earlier this year.

"We're not only changing the law—we're changing the culture. We're standing with victims and saying enough is enough," state Sen. Melinda Bush, a Grayslake Democrat who ushered the bill through the Senate, said in a news release. "With these measures in place, workers will have more protections under the law, and employers will be more proactive about educating employees and preventing these situations."

The omnibus legislation was the result of months of legislative negotiations which combined several anti-sexual harassment initiatives into one all-encompassing bill.

According to a news release from the governor's office, the new law "strengthens protections for employees, responsibilities for employers and accountability for abusers," with particular attention given to hotels, casinos and state government.

"Sexual harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the state of Illinois," Pritzker said in a statement. "… This commonsense law makes it clear that the days of turning a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace are over."

The new will take effect Jan. 1, 2020, with new casino and hotel regulations beginning July 1, 2020.

It requires all employers to provide workplace sexual harassment training at least once a year and advises workers on steps they can take after reporting incidents of harassment or discrimination. Restaurants and bars will be required to provide specialized training and to adopt anti-harassment policies.

It also requires employers to report findings and settlements concerning sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination to the Department of Human Rights.

Under the new law, failure to train employees or report these instances could result in a $500 penalty to businesses with fewer than four workers for the first offense, $1,000 for the second and $3,000 for offenses after that. For businesses with four or more employees, the fines would be up to $1,000, $3,000 and $5,000 for each respective offense.

The new law also prohibits employers from requiring employees to keep quiet or waive their rights regarding harassment, discrimination and retaliation. It bans employers from retaliating against employees who do speak out. It also allows victims of gender-related violence to take unpaid leave from work to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning and other assistance.

Hotels and casinos will be required to equip employees working alone with a panic button or other safety device, and must develop written anti-sexual harassment policies to protect employees against sexual harassment and sexual assault by guests.

The new law also prevents a union official from representing both a victim of sexual harassment and the alleged harasser in a disciplinary proceeding.

It also makes several changes to state ethics laws by ensuring harassment victims: have a right to testify before an ethics commission, can make an impact statement as part of the inspector general's report, receive notice of their rights and the inspector general's decision to open or close an investigation, and can review any inspector general summary report and suggest redactions.

Victims will also have a right to file a response to a summary report.

The bill, however, says any person, including those filing sexual harassment complaints, who receives a copy of the inspector general's summary report "shall keep the report confidential and shall not disclose the report prior to the publication of the report by the Legislative Ethics Commission." Any complainant who violates this part of the bill "shall be subject to an administrative fine by the Legislative Ethics Commission of up to $5,000."

"While we have made significant strides within state government to make sure those who have endured unacceptable behavior are heard and respected, this measure expands our focus to acknowledge the challenges faced by women and at-risk individuals throughout our workforce," state Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, the bill's chief House sponsor, said in a news release.

The bill also requires local governments to provide for reporting and independent review of sexual harassment involving local elected officials, and expands the Human Rights Act to prohibit harassment against contractors.

Rep. Mark Batinick, a Plainfield Republican, was one of dozens of House co-sponsors on the bill.

"This year I was proud to sponsor many pieces of legislation to protect women and ensure their safety in the workplace," he said in a statement. "This bill is a necessary addition to our arsenal and a step forward in making workplaces across our state better and safer places to work for every employee."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Global panel looks at impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQI people 2020-05-25 - Following the release of OutRight Action International's report "Vulnerability Amplified: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on LGBTIQ People," the United Nations ( ...


Gay News

Lightfoot gets win with passage of casino bill 2020-05-24 - Pulling off a feat that her mayor predecessors could not accomplish, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot scored a win when Illinois legislators, on May ...


Gay News

Phase 3 guidelines for reopening of businesses/workplaces are unveiled 2020-05-24 - Governor JB Pritzker released industry-specific guidelines that allow for the safe reopening of businesses as the state progresses into the next phase of ...


Gay News

Forum examines 2020 election preparations 2020-05-23 - In the opening moments of a May 19 discussion about maintaining the integrity of the 2020 Illinois elections, Equality Illinois Policy Director Mike ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Lightfoot: Chicago on track to open in early June 2020-05-23 - Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, alongside the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ), announced May 22 that Chicago is on track to ...


Gay News

U.S. Supreme Court backs Idaho trans woman's reassignment surgery 2020-05-22 - The United States Supreme Court denied Idaho's application to stop a transgender inmate's reassignment surgery, East Idaho News reported. The court order ...


Gay News

Lawsuit urges speedy release of prisoners 2020-05-21 - Civil-rights attorneys filed an amended suit in a class-action case, now called Richard v. Pritzker, demanding that state officials speed the release of ...


Gay News

Pritzker announces updates to Phase 3 of 'Restore Illinois' 2020-05-20 - On May 20, Gov. JB Pritzker announced updates to Phase 3 of the state's Restore Illinois plan. "We are by no means out ...


Gay News

Morrison holding COVID-19 town hall 2020-05-20 - Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison will host a COVID-19 virtual town hall on Friday, May 22, at 1 p.m. to discuss COVID-19 ...


Gay News

Former Gov. Blagojevich officially disbarred 2020-05-19 - On May 18, the Illinois Supreme Court officially disbarred former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, The Chicago Tribune reported. The development happened more than ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.