#MeToo Bills Turn Toward Business

Feb 22, 2019

The state Senate task force on sexual discrimination and  sexual harassment released its report this week, and leaders announced related bills, including several aimed at the business community.

One measure would require private employers to provide sexual harassment training, limit businesses’ use of non-disclosure agreements, mandate that large employers disclose sexual harassment settlements, and allow victims of sexual harassment or sexual violence to take unpaid leave.

Task Force Co-Chair Jil Tracy, a Republican senator from Quincy,  said reactions from business groups have been encouraging.

She said, “The pushback has not been there from anyone recognizing that sexual harassment of any sort, you know, wouldn't be tolerated and and they wanted out of their workplace.”​

Todd Maisch, the president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said none of the measures he has looked into should be a problem for employers.

“We want to make sure that anything that comes out of this is really focused on fixing that problem and not simply an attempt to say, hey, let's go ahead and find some employers over here that may have had some problems real or alleged, and, you know, increase penalties, Increase statute limitations make it harder for employers to comply with laws.”

Another proposed measure would allow the Legislative Iinspector General, Carol Pope, to investigate complaints without getting the approval of the Legislative Ethics Commission.