Amid a flood of recent reports of sexual harassment and abuse, there has been unprecedented pressure on government and business leaders to take immediate action. The City of Highland Park has a clear zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. Every City employee is required to sign an acknowledgment form confirming receipt and understanding of the policy, the City mandates sexual harassment sensitivity training for all City employees and measures are in place for confidentially reporting complaints.
“Sexual harassment has no place in our City government or frankly, within our community. Serial sexual harassers are predators. They can create psychological damage, anxiety, and dangerous situations. Highland Park stands ready to assist survivors of sexual harassment and remains steadfast in our commitment to end the cycle of discrimination and harassment,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering.
Recent reports of sexual harassment occurring in Illinois’ State Capitol have surfaced. Although the City of Highland Park already requires sexual harassment training, the City supports Illinois Senate Bill 402 (SB402), which proposes to require every lawmaker and state employee to undergo annual sexual harassment training. The bill also would require registered lobbyists to complete a sexual harassment training program offered or approved by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office and also prove that their entity or organization has a sexual harassment policy and investigative process for internal sexual harassment complaints.
SB402 also would mandate all Illinois government bodies to adopt a policy prohibiting sexual harassment and setting forth a process for reporting sexual harassment instances and disciplinary actions for violations. Again, Highland Park is already in compliance with this proposed requirement given its existing policy and ombudsman program.
More information on resources and procedures for addressing workplace sexual harassment can be found on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website at https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm. More information on resources for addressing sexual harassment in educational institutions can be found on the Illinois Department of Human Rights website at https://www.illinois.gov/dhr/FilingaCharge/Pages/Education.aspx.