In response to #MeToo, state lawmakers approved sweeping legislation to fight sexual harassment in Illinois – Chicago Tribune

When state Sen. Sue Rezin began serving in the Illinois General Assembly nine years ago, she saw a culture at the Illinois Capitol that fostered sexual harassment — “pervasive behavior” that when reported wasn’t taken seriously, she said.

But under legislation state lawmakers approved this spring, state officials, employees and lobbyists all would be required to go through annual sexual harassment training. The plan, which was a direct response to the #MeToo movement, also would extend protections against harassment and discrimination protections to public- and private-sector workplaces across the state.

“Hopefully, it will change not only the behavior in Springfield, but across the state in the workplace,” said Rezin, a Morris Republican. “If I heard of someone being harassed, I would bring it to the attention of superiors. The complaint seemed to go no further. Now, at least, the individual can file a complaint in a confidential manner and an independent inspector general will investigate their claim. That’s so important.”

The legislation is part of lawmakers’ ongoing response to the #MeToo movement, including allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation within Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political and government organizations. The sweeping new legislation cleared both chambers of the General Assembly without opposition.



via “Illinois Politics” – Google News

June 7, 2019 at 07:32PM

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