“When an employee walks into work they should be afforded a certain level of protection from brutal acts of violence,” LaHood said. “This new law will allow employers to seek orders of protection against an employee who may have demonstrated prior acts of aggression or made credible threats against other employees or a workplace.
Signed on August 16, House Bill 2590 - which passed both Illinois General Assembly chambers unanimously - creates the Illinois Workplace Violence Prevention Act, which would allow employers to apply for an order of protection from their local court jurisdiction. The employer must show through an affidavit, to the satisfaction of a judge, that there is sufficient evidence that an employee has suffered a threat or there is a credible potential threat that could be faced by the workplace.
LaHood’s bill was an initiative of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest organization to represent employers. The bill was also supported by other business interests and the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance. As of one of region’s largest employers, Caterpillar was also supportive because the legislation will help protect their workplaces from violence.
The new act does not negate any previous statutes dealing with orders of protection, but it simply adds another classification of order. It applies to employers of five or more, and covers violence, stalking and harassment as defined in the Illinois Compiled Statutes.