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New Illinois law helps survivors of gender violence or harassment to sue their employers

A new Illinois law that went into effect Jan. 1 should make it easier for survivors of gender violence to sue their employers successfully, according to the measure’s sponsors and plaintiffs’ lawyers who pushed for the changes to the statutes in Springfield.

The law, which updates the Gender Violence Act passed in 2003, will allow workers to hold their employer liable for failing “to supervise, train, or monitor the employee who engaged in the gender-related violence” or for not taking “remedial measures” after being informed of alleged misconduct in the workplace.

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, introduced the legislation in the Illinois House. He said the new law should help survivors who face sexual violence on the job in cases where there were systemic problems that the employers tolerated.

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