Sexual harassment continues to be on the forefront of American minds. While some progress has been made to address workplace sexual harassment, there are still many industries plagued by sexual harassment. Employees who work in restaurants, hotels, and bars often experience the humiliation that comes with being sexually harassed. Patrons of these establishments may make crude and inappropriate remarks to employees. Perhaps even worse, many employees in the hospitality sector must also put up with this behavior from co-workers or superiors. Because of this, Illinois has proposed a bill that requires mandatory sexual harassment training for restaurant employees. The bill, called the Restaurant Anti-Harassment Act, if passed, will require all Illinois restaurants to provide sexual harassment prevention training to employees.
Requirements Under the Restaurant Anti-Harassment Act
Illinois is just one of many states which have proposed or enacted employee-protectionist legislation in recent years. In February of this year, Illinois Representative Ann M. Williams proposed the Restaurant Anti-Harassment Act in hopes that mandatory harassment prevention training could help mitigate the high incidence of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. If passed, Illinois restaurant employees must be educated about certain issues related to sexual harassment and how they can help prevent sexual harassment in their own workplace. The topics to be discussed through this training would include:
- The two types of sexual harassment recognized by law (hostile workplace harassment and quip pro quo harassment);
- An explanation of what sexual harassment means and the negative effect workplace sexual harassment can have on victims, businesses, and perpetrators;
- How to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate conduct at work; and
- How and when employees should report sexual harassment.
Supervisors and managers would be required to undergo additional training about:...