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Part II: Illinois Senate gets package of sexual harassment bills

Regular readers of our blog know that in a previous post, we wrote about Illinois state Sen. Melinda Bush’s four proposals designed to protect workers from unlawful misconduct in the workplace.

In addition to the previously mentioned bills, Bush has also submitted SB 1588, which would put workplace sexual harassment on the list of complaints a person can submit to a court in order to get a No Contact order from a judge. As things stand now, those orders are limited to victims of sexual abuse and violence, but cannot be extended to harassment victims.

Bush is also proposing a bill that did not come from the task force: SB 1507, which would enable victims of revenge porn to pursue punitive damages in lawsuits against perpetrators. Bush said the bill is " a response to the state representative who was accused of posting nude photos of women without their permission. Now there would be a civil remedy for that."

Former legislator Nick Sauer, of Lake Barrington, was indicted early this year on 12 felony charges alleging that he created fake social media accounts to post photos of nude women. Sauer had been on the state House's Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force.

The fourth of Bush’s proposals would require private employers to provide to employees sexual harassment prevention training. It would also allow victims of harassment and violence to take unpaid leave. The bill would also require large employers to disclose sexual harassment litigation and settlements.

Bush said she and other lawmakers are determined to see the measures passed. “ I really believe we're going to get an agreement," she said.

Those who have been subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation can fight back with the help of a law firm dedicated to protecting employee rights and careers.

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