Kane County Affirms Policy To Prohibit Sexual Harassment

Kane County Affirms Policy To Prohibit Sexual Harassment

The Kane County Board on Tuesday (Jan. 9, 2018) passed an ordinance affirming its policy to prohibit sexual harassment.

The county ordinance follows the state of Illinois’ Public Act 100, which passed the Illinois General Assembly on Nov. 16 and requires units of local government to adopt such an ordinance within 60 days.

Kane County Human Resources Executive Director Sylvia Wetzel said Kane County has had a policy prohibiting sexual harassment in place for many years. Tuesday’s action simply affirms that the policy is in compliance with the new state law.

“Individuals should be able to work in an environment free from sexual harassment,” Wetzel said. “Human Resources offers reassurance, by creating policy, training, and procedures in order to respond to concerns appropriately.”

The county’s policy is specified in detail in the employee handbook, which defines sexual harassment and prohibits it in any form — verbal, nonverbal, visual or physical. The handbook also details the responsibility of individual employees and supervisors as well as the process for filing a complaint.

“Kane County does not tolerate sexual harassment by or of its employees in any form,” the introductory paragraph states. “Such conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”

Wetzel said the county’s policy on sexual harassment is clear.

“We have shared our policy with our department heads, elected officials and employees alike, as it is the responsibility of each individual to refrain from such behavior and understand that such conduct is unacceptable,” she said.



WHEREAS, the County of Kane, body politic and corporate of the state of Illinois (“Kane County”) is a non-home rule unit of local government pursuant to Article VII, § 8 of the 1970 Illinois Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the Illinois General Assembly enacted Public Act 100-0554 (the “Act”), effective November 16, 2017, which is a comprehensive revision of State statues regulating policies prohibiting sexual harassment; and

WHEREAS, the Act requires that, no later than 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, November 16, 2017, each governmental unit shall adopt an ordinance or Ordinance establishing a policy to prohibit sexual harassment; and

WHEREAS, the County Board of Kane County has determined that, as a governmental unit, it must comply with the Act by passage of this Ordinance; and

WHEREAS, because the Act provides for the imposition of significant penalties for violations of said local regulations, it is necessary to adopt the required regulations by Ordinance rather than by Resolution.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the County Board of Kane County that this Ordinance affirming the Sexual Harassment Policy to prohibit sexual harassment be and hereby is adopted as follows:

SECTION I. Adoption of Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy.
The Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, included as Exhibit A to this Ordinance, is hereby adopted.

SECTION II. Existing Policies.
All prior existing sexual harassment policies of Kane County that conflict with the policy contained in Exhibit A hereto shall be superseded by the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment adopted by this Ordinance.

SECTION III. Severability.
It is the intention of the County Board that this Ordinance and every provision thereof shall be considered separable, and the invalidity of any section, clause, or provision of this Ordinance shall not affect the validity of any other portion of this Ordinance.

SECTION IV. Effective Date.
This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from January 9, 2018 and after its passage.

Passed by the Kane County Board on January 9, 2018.