Springfield, IL… Recognizing the need to change the culture both in the public and the private sectors, State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) overwhelmingly advanced legislation through the House to require sexual harassment training for state licensees.
Last fall hundreds of female legislators, lobbyists, and staff signed on to a letter revealing the open secret of Springfield’s culture of sexual harassment. The General Assembly took action, passing new ethics legislation and creating the Illinois Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force. Rep. McAuliffe serves on the task force and has heard firsthand how prevalent the issue in both government and politics as well as in private businesses.
“Over the course of the past six months we’ve conducted a thorough review of the legal and social consequences of sexual discrimination and harassment,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Given what we’ve heard, this legislation is sorely needed. Everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their place of work.”
House Bill 4953 requires professions licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) that have continuing education requirements include at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training. The newly required training would take effect for license renewals beginning in 2020. IDFPR already requires training on other issues including domestic violence.
“If IDFPR requires licensees to be trained in a number of issues, it is common sense that ensuring a safe workplace environment be included,” Rep. McAuliffe continued.
HB 4953 unanimously passed the House, 103-0. The bill is awaiting further action in the Senate and is sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).