The Illinois Senate has passed an important protection plan for victims of sexual harassment in union workplaces. The legislation was sponsored by State Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove).
Union members are entitled to representation by their union for disciplinary and grievance issues, including in cases of alleged sexual harassment. This representation extends to both victims and accused perpetrators in sexual harassment disciplinary hearings, if both individuals are union members. However, under current law, the union can assign the same representative to both the victim and the person or persons accused of harassment.
“It’s common sense that one person can’t best represent a potential victim of sexual harassment while also representing the accused perpetrator,” said Curran. “This legislation will ensure that a victim of sexual harassment is represented by someone who is focused solely on their side of the disciplinary process.”
Curran’s Senate Bill 1877 creates the Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act, which puts a stop to this issue by simply prohibiting unions from designating the same representative for both parties in the disciplinary proceeding.
“I believe this is a common sense step toward helping victims of workplace harassment to find justice,” said Curran.
Senate Bill 1877 passed the Senate unanimously and is now headed to the House for consideration in that chamber.