Illinois Senate passes Healthy Workplace Bill for public employees

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.

Onward

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.

Link to Illinois bill history

8 responses

  1. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce promised last year to support the Abusive Work Environments Act if the Healthy Workplace Bill were only to apply to government workers which includes Illinois public school teachers. In exchange, House Joint Resolution, HJR #40 or “Workplace Bullyin” in the public sector, was written. It is due in December 2010. Because that bill is stuck in the Rules Committee, it was not started.

    With HJR #40 on hold, the Chamber has rationalized they can now opposed the entire Act. Those of us working on the ground consider this a double-cross and dirty business as usual for the mighty Chamber.

    Nurses are private citizens and in dire need of protection from work abuse. The Senate is working to figure out why they are leaving Illinois. We told the sponsors of that bill that they were being driven out by work abuse.

  2. Carrie, thanks for adding your personal insight on how this came to be. It’s disappointing but not surprising when these things happen. It’s hard to be “bi-partisan” when the other side really doesn’t want to play, isn’t it?!

    Readers, Carrie Clark is one of the pioneers in advocating for workplace bullying protections. I’m careful about mentioning names in individual posts, but now that Carrie has commented I can thank her for being among the stalwart organizers in Illinois!

  3. Pingback: New York State Senate passes Healthy Workplace Bill; Assembly next « Minding the Workplace

  4. Pingback: Massachusetts workplace bullying legislation: Looking ahead « Minding the Workplace

  5. Congratulations Carrie & to all of the advocates working against workplace abuse! I have tweeted this great news:)

    Blessings,
    Clara Freeman

  6. We need a Federal Healthy Workplace Bill. It is way over due. The abuse older workers endure is a travesty! Lets push for Federal Legislation!!! Check out workplacebullying.org

  7. I was a municipal employee in the city of Chicago that retired early because of a hostile environment at work.I loved my job in the classroom but was stressed by a hostile department chair that was supported by the administration.
    I am overjoyed that this bill has been initiated in the state of Illinois.I retired early at age 62 but could have worked for at least another 5 years..
    A case was filed with the EEOC of the district office by a colleague also about the same age which was shoved under the rug.
    I have been an effective teacher but I opposed a move to convert a public teaching undergrad.college to a research institution upon the whim of some young newly hired science instructors with minimum to no teaching experience.
    Additionally, nepotism and clout abound in the hiring process in recent years.Since we are unionized we are between a rock and a hard place because our union discourages complaining about our bosses who are also union members.
    Who do I contact to be an activist in the passing of this bill?.

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