Simon Review Paper # 55


The last several years have brought sexual harassment in the public and private sector to the forefront of a national conversation. This paper addresses the issue of sexual harassment specifically within the Illinois public sector. First, to understand how Illinoisans view sexual harassment, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute conducted statewide polling. This endeavor asked respondents about their perceptions of how well the public understands sexual harassment, how likely people who engage in harassing behavior are to be held accountable, and whether or not the respondents would be likely to vote for a political candidate accused of sexual harassment. This paper outlines best practices on addressing sexual harassment with an in-depth look at how Illinois is currently addressing public sector sexual harassment via policy, legislative action, and training initiatives. This is done in hopes of providing the state of Illinois with some recommendations and future direction on how to be a national leader in combatting sexual harassment.