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New anti-discrimination and harassment law takes effect

bush 032019GRAYSLAKE — Private sector workers who experience sexual harassment and discrimination will have greater protections under the law thanks to a major piece of legislation from State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that took effect Wednesday.

“This law gives victims of workplace harassment and discrimination more protections and ensures they are able to seek justice,” Bush said. “We’re not only changing the law—we’re changing the culture. We’re standing with victims and saying enough is enough.”

Employers will now be required to provide sexual harassment prevention training once a year, and discrimination against an employee because they are perceived to be a part of the protected class would be illegal, even if the employee is not part of that class.

The law — found in Senate Bill 75 — also includes major reforms to the state’s ethics investigation process, including making the process more transparent and giving additional rights to victims of harassment and discrimination who file ethics complaints.

Bush introduced the law after traveling the state as the co-chair of the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness Prevention, hearing from both victims and advocates. Her conversations led her to fight for more protections against harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

“Preventing sexual harassment and discrimination and ensuring our workplaces are safe is not only good for workers—it’s good for business,” Bush said. “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 measure was signed by the governor last year and took effect July 1.

 

Sen. Melinda Bush

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31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions; Revenue; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Sub. on Tax Exemptions and Credits; Sub. on Interscholastic Athletics; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).

Associated Representatives:
Joyce Mason
Sam Yingling