Law aims to close legal loopholes that hide harassment concerns from public view.
In the past few weeks, Illinois Legislators have been working feverishly to advance SB1829, the Workplace Transparency Act. In an already busy legislative session filled with worker-friendly initiatives, the bill has already passed the Senate and is advancing rapidly through the House, picking up scores of sponsors along the way.
The bill would:
- Mandate annual sexual harassment training and prescribe the content for such training.
- Extend the IHRA’s protections against harassment to independent contractors.
- Grant victims of sexual harassment up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for purposes of receiving medical, psychological or other support services.
- Require annual reporting of discrimination and harassment claims settlements or rulings to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR).
- Prohibit employers from including confidentiality and non-disparagement commitments in employment agreements that cover sexual harassment claims, with certain exceptions for settlement agreements after harassment claims arise.
- Bar private arbitration of harassment and discrimination claims under the Illinois Human Rights Act although, as previously reported here, such limitations could be problematic.
The full text of SB1829 can be found here
The status of the bill can be tracked here
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Gary Savine is an Illinois employment lawyer and founder of Savine Employment Law, Ltd. in Chicago. Gary regularly advises human resources professionals on recently enacted employment laws.