Sauer Co-Sponsors Bill to Require New Sexual Harassment Training for GA Members

State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington) is co-sponsoring legislation in the Illinois House to require new sexual harassment training for Illinois’ elected officials. Recent national news over allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein ignited the debate over curbing sexual harassment problems in Springfield, leading Sauer and many of his colleagues to call for definitive action through House Bill 4134.

“No person should ever have to endure the degradation and trauma caused by sexual harassment or abuse, least of all in the work place, where a person should feel comfortable,” said Sauer. “While our state agencies have employed sexual harassment policies for many years, these policies, and those for legislators and executive branch officials, have lacked uniform standards. That’s unacceptable. This legislation helps us correct that problem, not merely with a policy, but definitive training for elected officials. It’s the right thing to do and long overdue.”

As Sauer noted, employees of the state’s various agencies and departments have long had varying sexual harassment policies determined by their respective agency or department, including the General Assembly. However, these policies have lacked uniform standards and training for elected officials. Under House Bill 4134, the state’s elected officials will be required to undergo a sexual harassment training program as a requirement for holding office. This training program will also be required of specified state employees and all lobbyists registered with the state. In addition, updates will be made to the reporting structure for registering complaints of sexual harassment and the bill empowers the Legislative Ethics Commission to make rulings and recommendations to address other sexual harassment issues.

For additional information about HB 4134, Click Here.

On November 16, 2017, Gov. Rauner signed Senate Bill 402 into law. SB 402 incorporated aspects of HB 4134 and other proposals into a comprehensive change to Illinois' sexual harassment laws. In addition, Rep. Sauer has been appointed to a special bi-partisan task force to address sexual harassment problems and make further recommendations for legislative action in the coming year.

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