State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is sponsoring legislation to bring safety and awareness to the increasing numbers in workplace violence occurring in state-owned facilities across Illinois.
“For months, I have been contacted by staff and workers in facilities in my district, voicing their concerns about the increasing number of violent incidences in their workplaces and calling upon lawmakers to take notice,” said Sen. Fowler. “This legislation is the bipartisan call from the General Assembly to listen to those individuals, bring attention to a growing issue throughout our state and underscore the need for more safe and secure facilities overall.”
Senate Bill 3075 requires state-operated facilities under the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC), the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to submit quarterly reports tracking workplace violence to the General Assembly.
“This measure is establishing more specific reporting and accountability measures, focused on better documenting and tracking instances where staff well-being and safety is jeopardized,” said Sen. Fowler. “My aim in sponsoring this legislation is to bring attention to what I believe is an ongoing problem in several state-operated facilities, leaving many employees feeling vulnerable, unsafe and ignored.”
Under the proposal, DJJ, DCFS, DHS and DOC will all be required to electronically submit reports on the first of January, April, July and October, detailing information about any violence, threats or injuries having occurred in their facilities.
DJJ and DOC will be required to report:
The number of reported assaults on staff at each facility;
The number of reported incidents of youth sexual aggression toward staff at each facility;
The number, description and treatment requirements of staff injuries resulting from youth violence at each facility.
DCFS will be required to report:
The number of assaults or threats against employees by service region;
The number of employee injuries resulting from assaults;
Description of injuries needing medical treatment and days off work as a result of the assault.
DHS will be required to report:
The number of employees;
The number of workplace violence incidents that occurred and the number of employees impacted as a result;
The number and treatment requirements of employee injuries.
“This is a starting point for accountability. More importantly, I am hopeful that this is a starting point for safety, providing employees an avenue to be heard,” said Sen. Fowler. “We have a responsibility to do more to protect these employees, beginning with tracking the data, holding these facilities accountable for providing that information and giving employees a platform to call for change.”
Senate Bill 3075 unanimously passed out of the Senate on April 23 and will now advance to the House of Representatives for further consideration.