Springfield, IL – Today, Governor JB Pritzker signed SB 75, a Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Ethics Omnibus bill that provides sweeping protections against discrimination throughout the state of Illinois. This legislation was sponsored in the House by Representative Ann M. Williams (D-Chicago) and in the Senate by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).
This legislation is the result of years of research, conversations, and interviews with survivors of discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment in the workplace. The bill’s provisions are taken directly from findings produced by The Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention, and will take concrete steps towards creating a safer work environment for all.
“Every employee deserves to work in an environment that is safe and healthy, and where they are valued and respected,” said Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago). “A bicameral and bipartisan effort, this legislation makes important strides toward ensuring that Illinois workplaces are free from harassment and bullying of any kind. I am grateful to Governor Pritzker, Senator Bush and all those who worked to advance this important initiative.”
“Victims of workplace harassment and discrimination have for too long been silenced and unable to confront the often horrific circumstances they have experienced,” said Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “We’re not just changing the law with Senate Bill 75. We are working to change our culture, preventing abuse and discrimination from happening in the first place while empowering victims to come forward when it does.”
“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.”
Highlights of the bill include:
- Creation of a Workplace Transparency Act to prohibit employees from being forced by employers as a condition of employment to keep quiet or waive their rights regarding sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace.
- Requires all employers to provide sexual harassment training at least once per year to their employees, and requires restaurants and bars to establish sexual harassment policies and provide specialized training for employess.
- Expands the Illinois Human Rights Act’s harassment protections to contractors.
- Requires employers to disclose final judicial or administrative findings and settlements converning sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination with the Department of Human Rights.
- Gives persons subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination statutory rights regarding investigations by the Executive and Legislative Inspectors General.