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Workplace discrimination protections now law in Illinois

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD Women across Illinois will have stronger remedies to fight sexual harassment and discrimination in work places, thanks to a measure supported by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) championed Senate Bill 75, which clarifies the ethics investigation process, including making the process more transparent and giving additional rights to victims of harassment and discrimination who file ethics complaints. The measure was signed into law today.

Senate Bill 75 will require hotels and casinos to provide employees who work in isolated spaces with panic buttons for use if they are sexually harassed or assaulted, and local governments will now be required to report and provide an independent review of allegations of sexual harassment made against local elected officials and makes harassment against contract employees illegal.

“Illinois’ employment laws will now match the needs of workers from the 21st century,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As a state, it is our responsibility to put forth policies that promote inclusion and safety.”

The bipartisan measure passed the legislature with unanimous support.

“This monumental legislation is helping shift the culture in the workplace,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to institute new laws that strive to make Illinois a better place to work, live and grow.”

The ethics provisions in Senate Bill 75 are effective immediately, the panic button provision takes effect July 1, and every other section takes effect Jan. 1.

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure to support equal pay for equal work now law

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD – Illinois workers will soon have protections in place to help ensure they receive equal pay for equal work.

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is a chief cosponsor on House Bill 834, which addresses the salary gap in Illinois by prohibiting employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their past salary during the interview process. The measure was signed into law on Wednesday.

The legislation amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to include language banning salary history questions during the hiring process.

“In 2019, a worker should not receive a different wage based on any factor not directly related to their qualifications, experience and job performance,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law renews the state’s commitment to policies that promote and ensure pay equity for all of our workers.”

Bertino-Tarrant worked with the sponsor to make the measure more business-friendly. The law will go into effect 60 days after it was signed into law.

The measure was supported by a number of groups, including the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, National Association of Social Workers, Laborer’s International Union and the Illinois National Organization for Women.

Women in Illinois make up almost half the workforce but earn 79 percent of what men earn.

“As other states appear to be moving backward on equal rights, Illinois will continue to move forward to ensure employees are receiving the same pay for the same work,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will help Illinois end the wage gap.”

The new law goes into effect in 60 days.

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure to protect consumer privacy now law

dnatestkit 052119PLAINFIELD – Illinois residents’ genetic testing results will now be protected under a new law championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Signed into law on Friday, Bertino-Tarrant’s House Bill 2189 prohibits companies that provide direct-to-consumer commercial genetic testing such as ancestry.com and 23andMe, from sharing any test results with health or life insurance companies without the consumer’s consent.

“As genetic testing becomes more popular, it is essential that personal information remain private,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Illinois consumers should have peace of mind that their health information will remain private as they make decisions to manage their health care.”

Bertino-Tarrant’s new law ensures reliable and experienced teachers in Illinois’ classrooms

Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantPLAINFIELD – Illinois now has a new law in place to help address the teacher shortage by allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom without coming out of retirement, thanks to Illinois Senate Education Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant’s championed House Bill 1472, which addresses findings that 89 percent of Central Illinois districts and 92 percent of Southern Illinois districts have issues with staffing teaching positions with qualified candidates. The law was signed on Friday.

“Our retired teachers should not be penalized for returning to classrooms to help our school districts meet their needs,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We want teachers in our classrooms with experience in the profession to help ensure our children are receiving a strong education.”

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education (Chairperson); Insurance; Labor; Licensed Activities (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (TR); Subcommittee on Special Issues (ED) (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.

Associated Representatives:
Mark Batinick
Natalie A. Manley