It will come as no surprise that with every new year, new laws come into effect. For education, Consumer protection, combatting sexual harassment, abuse and violence, rights and resources for inmates and much more! Let’s take a look at the most major recent laws that have come into place at the time of writing…
HB 26: All high school students with grades in the top 10% of their class will be automatically be considered to attend the top universities. These include Northern Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University and Western Illinois University. However, they will also have to meet the grade requirements of each university.
HB 3550: Sex education courses will require a much more in-depth study into whether the content is age-appropriate. The new curriculum will focus on each age group from grades 6 – 12. This will focus mainly on consent and it will teach the students that consent is freely agreeing to be sexual with someone. They will learn that a person can withdraw consent at any time and how a person CANNOT consent to sexual activity if they are heavily under the influence of drugs/alcohol, unconscious, with a mental disability, asleep or a minor. And how sexual activity without consent is sexual assault or rape. They will learn about all of the great consequences of this. Such as a prison sentence and criminal record which will affect all areas of employment and be detrimental to their futures.
HB 3404: Each school MUST make mental health and suicide prevention information and resources available to all students.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT, ABUSE AND VIOLENCE
SB 75: This law is to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. A survey was taken at the beginning of 2021 that found 81% of American women had been sexually harassed in the workplace. These are the changes to employment and civil rights laws in the workplace:
- Sexual harassment prevention programme for ALL employees at a company. Employers must ensure that this training takes place at least once a year.
- The Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act instructs that in a proceeding in which a victim accused perpetrator in the same union cannot be represented by the same union representative.
- The Workplace Transparency Act prohibits any contract from restricting an employee from reporting allegations of unlawful conduct for investigation.
SB 1507: The Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act. The law ensures that all victims of revenge porn are eligible to recover damages for two years after images/footage is released. These damages include but are not limited to emotional distress, economic and punitive.
LABOR AND WORKERS’ RIGHTS
HB 3405: The Illinois WagePayment and Collection Act specifies that all tips made to employees belong entirely to them and the employer should not tax or take a cut under any circumstances.
HB 253: Teaching or other pre-professional duties will no longer be classified as ”students”. Therefore, all of the people that fall into this category will have access to the same rights as employees.
SB 161: This new law creates a Worker Protection Unit. It protects workers and ensures they are paid correctly and fairly as well as ensuring measures so they have a completely safe workplace. And much more! It will predominately focus on companies and businesses that underpay and overwork their employees with the aim to combat this.
HB 3390: This law came into place after an overnight fire took place in a kennel in West Chicago. 31 dogs were killed during this tragic accident that took place in 2019. This law states that all kennels should be equipped with an alarm system if there isn’t 24-hour staff there.
SB 131: This law states that all pet owners are required to ensure that they vaccinate their cats against rabies. All cats 4 months and above will require this vaccination from a professional veterinarian. They will require a certificate when the vaccination is complete as proof.
HB 2086: This law states that all pet owners are now responsible to take their pets to annual checkups with a professional veterinarian. This is to ensure that all animals have a long and healthy life. It will improve their quality of life and possibly extend it too.