Last month, the Illinois state Senate passed the Workplace Transparency Act (Senate Bill 1829), a measure that would overhaul requirements for employers within the state regarding sexual harassment claims. The bill is still under consideration by the Illinois House of Representatives.
The jury took just 90 minutes to arrive at its decision on punitive damages. To say the jury found in favor of the woman who said she had been sexually harassed by her former employer would be an understatement. The numbers make the jury’s decision much clearer: she was awarded $8 million in punitive damages from the self-proclaimed billionaire hologram producer.
Because of the nature of the work and the places in which that work can be carried out, many people don’t think of members of the military as part of a workplace. But the reality for members of the Wisconsin National Guard is that most of the time, they are assigned to do their duties in places virtually everyone would recognize as a workplace.
It’s known as the Be HEARD Act, but its more formal name is the Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination in the Workplace Act. The goal of the bill co-sponsored y Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is to create federal protections against sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace.
The #MeToo movement has already taught the nation many valuable lessons. One of the most important is that even organizations and people you might assume would not be involved in matters of sexual harassment and retaliation can sometimes find themselves credibly accused of both.
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.
It might not be a regular occurrence, but there are occasions on which it makes sense to laud government efforts to address problems. It’s good to see the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee approving a package of four legislative proposals to beef up protections for people subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Because our law firm represents clients in the Chicago metro area as well as in Milwaukee, we keep a close watch on developments in employment law in Illinois as well as in Wisconsin. We read recently of a former county employee in Illinois who filed a federal lawsuit in which she states that she complained about a board member’s sexual harassment – and was then fired.
There is little doubt that there is more work to be done to make workplaces safer for all employees. The Illinois Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention is determined to do its share of that work.
Many Milwaukee residents think of Hawaii as paradise – especially when we are in the throes of another bitterly cold winter. But even paradise is imperfect, it seems.