Last week, the Illinois Senate passed a version of the Healthy Workplace Bill for state and local employees. The vote was 35-17 (see link below). Here’s a brief of assessment of what this means for efforts to enact protections for severely bullied workers:
Big Step Forward
Winning a floor vote is a big deal. It shows that the Healthy Workplace Bill is gaining support and traction. Special kudos go to our advocates in the Illinois, who have had to navigate efforts by anti-gay activists attempting create an exemption that would allow them bully others due to their sexual orientation. Fortunately, our team was able to save the bill from being sabotaged in that way.
Public Sector Workers Only
My one lament is that this version of the bill does not cover private sector workers, who are just as vulnerable to workplace bullying as their public sector siblings. In fact, those in the private sector tend to be less protected from mistreatment on the job because they have much lower unionization rates and are more likely to be employees at will.
But I’ll happily take this great progress. The next step is the Rules Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives. Here’s wishing the best to our advocates in the Land of Lincoln.