Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush presents legislation during a committee hearingSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) advanced four measures out of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that provide protections for employees and victims of sexual harassment and discrimination.

“The main thing I learned from last year’s Senate hearings on sexual harassment and discrimination is that victims don’t have the legal protections they need to hold perpetrators accountable and seek justice,” Bush said. “These measures will provide cover for victims and allow them to seek damages and protection, should they need to.”

Senate Bill 30 creates the Workplace Transparency Act, which protects employees from being forced to sign nondisclosure agreements relating to sexual harassment, retaliation and unlawful discrimination.

Senate Bill 1507 creates the Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act, which allows victims of revenge porn to recover economic, non-economic and punitive damages.

Senate Bill 1588 creates a new civil remedy called the “Sexual Harassment No Contact Order” for cases where relief is unavailable under any other existing protective order.

Senate Bill 1829 is an omnibus bill, which:

  • Includes the Workplace Transparency Act (limitations on NDAs, forced arbitration clauses, non-disparagement clauses)
  • Amends the definition of sexual harassment to include “on the basis of an individual’s actual or perceived sex or gender”
  • Requires private employers to have sexual harassment prevention training
  • Includes independent contractors as employees under the Illinois Human Rights Act
  • Requires large employers in the state to disclose the number of sexual harassment settlements/actions against them
  • Prohibits the use of NDAs for low-wage workers
  • Includes sunshine in litigation – provides no court shall enter an order or judgment which has the effect of concealing a public hazard
  • Expands Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act so that victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence can take unpaid leave from work

“I’m pleased that members of the business and labor communities came together to work with me on these important pieces of legislation,” Bush said. “Preventing sexual harassment and discrimination and ensuring our workplaces are safe is not only good for women, it’s good for business.”

Bush introduced the measures after hearing from victims, advocates and members of the business community during the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention’s hearings last year. She served as the co-chair of the task force.

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Category: Press Releases

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