MURPHYSBORO — While each day seems to bring another high-profile claim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the city of Murphysboro has approved an ordinance prohibiting sexual harassment.
The Murphysboro City Council adopted the ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday night.
The city adopted the measure — Ordinance No. 17-20 — based on an act approved Nov. 16, 2017, by the Illinois General Assembly.
For many years, Murphysboro has had departmental policies that prohibited sexual harassment, but placing language in city ordinance prohibiting sexual harassment makes the punishment that can be handed down for sexual harassment more severe, Mayor Will Stephens said.
The new ordinance suprsedes all other sexual harassment policies in city departments, according to the new ordinance.
The Murphysboro ordinance is in full expect.
The new ordinance defines sexual harassment, indicates the type of actions considered offensive and provides the procedure for reporting allegations of sexual harassment.
"It is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's sex," reads the policy.
It uses the definition stated in the Illinois Human Rights Act, which defines sexual harassment as: "Any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when (1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; (2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or; (3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment."