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Measure would require sexual harassment policies at firms doing state business

SPRINGFIELD – Companies doing business with the state of Illinois would be required to have a sexual harassment policy protecting workers under a proposal sponsored by state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights. The measure has passed the Senate and is nowing collecting sponsoring legislators in the House.

“The state of Illinois should be a leader in ensuring sexual harassment is not tolerated in our state,” Hutchinson said. “Every year, hundreds of companies team up with the state to provide services to our residents. We need to ensure these individuals performing state work are protected and know sexual harassment is not tolerated in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 405 would require all companies that make a bid or offer for a state contract have a sexual harassment policy in place. Additionally, the legislation would require companies that claim EDGE tax credits to include their sexual harassment policy in their annual report to the state.

Hutchinson’s proposal comes after increased attention to the issue of sexual harassment in industries from Hollywood to corporate boardrooms to politics. In November, Hutchinson brought increased awareness to the issue in Springfield by passing a resolution urging her colleagues to work together to find solutions to eradicate sexual harassment in Illinois politics.

“We know there is still much work for us to do,” Hutchinson said. “But we can’t properly address this issue unless we are having conversations about what sexual harassment is and how we can stop it. For anything to change, we must continue these conversations, however uncomfortable they may be, to ensure real change.”

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