SPRINGFIELD – To protect against gender-related violence in the workplace, State Senator Karina Villa passed a bill from the Senate to clarify areas of the Gender Violence Act in regards to employer accountability.
“Work should not be a violent environment for anyone; employees should have protection if they feel unsafe by the actions of a coworker or their employer,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “This bill aims to make sure those in a position of power are held responsible for protecting their employees and held accountable when they fail.”
House Bill 1363 clarifies when an employer can be held liable for gender-related violence committed in the workplace to include if the employer failed to supervise, train or monitor the employee who engaged in the violence; failed to investigate complaints or reports provided to a supervisor or manager and failed to take remedial measures in response to the complaints; or if the duties of an employee performing their job was the proximate cause of an injury.
This measure also establishes a four-year statute of limitation for bringing a claim of gender-related violence against an employer. In comparison, the statute of limitations for charges of sexual harassment filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is 300 days.
“Gender-related violence is a public health issue that can have lasting impacts on mental and physical health,” Villa said. “I will continue to fight against gender-related violence so everyone can feel safer in their day-to-day lives.”
If you or a loved one is experiencing partner- or gender-related violence, help is available through the Illinois Department of Human Services’ 24-hour hotline at 877-863-6338 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
House Bill 1363 passed the Senate on Wednesday.