Stuart backs legislation on sexual harassment protections

State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is in favor of new legislation aimed at changing the culture of harassment and strengthening policies against workplace harassment in the Capitol.

Legislation has been introduced in both chambers in response to reports of sexual harassment at the state Capitol.

stuart katie square“It is time to stop victim-blaming and making excuses for perpetrators of sexual harassment, and instead come together in a united, strong front and face this problem head on,” Stuart said. “We can start to combat this issue by implementing and enforcing laws that ensure that everyone – whether they are a legislator, lobbyist or staffer – feels comfortable in the workplace. We need to send a strong message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

Senate Bill 402 will require all legislators, staff and lobbyists to complete yearly sexual harassment training, along with requiring lobbyists to submit and enforce their own sexual harassment policies, just as all legislators currently do. House Joint Resolution 83 resolves to reverse a culture that promotes harassment in the Capitol.

“Sexual harassment isn’t a partisan issue or a gender issue,” Stuart added. “We can all agree that every allegation of sexual harassment deserves to be heard and investigated, that everyone deserves to feel safe and protected at the workplace, and that as legislators, colleagues and as a society we can do more to prevent and address sexual harassment. These measures are just the first step in changing the atmosphere of tolerance of sexual harassment. We will work towards eliminating sexual harassment in all aspects of society and ensuring due process for victims.”

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