#MeToo

Illinois Churches Linked To #ChurchToo Movement

Aug 31, 2018
Sarah Jesmer

In August, multiple elders resigned from Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. It was in response to sexual misconduct allegations against the church's founder. In a statement, head elder Missy Rasmussen apologized to the women who came forward and admitted that their internal investigation was flawed.

Groups Focus On #MeToo In Campaign Workplaces

Jul 9, 2018

A panel is traveling across Illinois to hear about what it’s like to be a female in politics. The Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel is hosting listening sessions to hear about sexual harassment in the political workplace.

The non-partisan panel is led by Comptroller Susana Mendoza, State Sen. Melinda Bush, and State Rep. Carol Ammons. 

Becky Carroll is Communications Director for the group. She says their findings on workplace sexual harassment can apply to all political races, not just in Illinois.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The chief of staff to powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan abruptly resigned Wednesday, at Madigan's request, after an employee accused him of lewd comments and of mishandling complaints of sexual harassment.

 

Sherri Garrett, a $42,000-a-year account technician for the House, told a news conference in Chicago that Timothy Mapes brushed aside her complaints of lawmakers' harassment of her and other women on at least two occasions.

 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Lawyers for Illinois House speaker Michael Madigan are asking for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by an ex-campaign worker who alleges her reporting of sexual harassment cost her a promotion in the speaker's political organization.

The request in federal court by the Illinois Democratic Party and three Madigan-controlled campaign funds denies allegations by Alaina Hampton. She contends in her lawsuit her effort to stop Kevin Quinn's unwanted advances prevented her from getting further work on Democratic campaigns.

Flickr user / Mike Mozart "McDonald's" (CC BY 2.0)

Energized by the #MeToo movement, two national advocacy groups are teaming up to lodge sexual harassment complaints against McDonald's on behalf of 10 women who have worked at the fast food restaurant in nine cities.

The workers — one of them a 15-year-old from St. Louis — alleged groping, propositions for sex, indecent exposure and lewd comments by supervisors. According to their complaints, when the women reported the harassment, they were ignored or mocked, and in some cases suffered retaliation.

"Chicago Fire Department" by Flickr User Chad Kainz

Five female paramedics with the Chicago Fire Department filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging they were sexually harassed by some of their superiors.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago contends there is a "code of silence" in the fire department that encourages the illegal behavior by failing to "discipline, supervise and control" its officers.

Illustrator Pat Byrnes

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, state lawmakers have tried to address sexual harassment in a variety of ways. We explore what's been done and what some say may be ahead.

Nearly six months have passed since more than 200 people signed a #MeToo letter asserting they've experienced or witnessed sexual harassment within Illinois state government. Since then, task forces have been assembled; some new state laws have been put into place; more bills have been introduced; and lawmakers have been trained in how to avoid problematic behavior.

Susan Stephens/WNIJ

Legislation barring the use of taxpayer money to settle complaints of sexual harassment against legislators is moving to the House floor.

The Executive Committee OK'd the plan unanimously Wednesday.

File photo by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan continues to push back against accusations that his office mishandled sexual harassment complaints. 

The Speaker issued a one-page press release Tuesday with brief summaries of nine complaints involving staffers working in his state office. It’s the product of an internal investigation Madigan launched after firing two high-ranking campaign workers.

Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, as well as the 2016 election, have sparked renewed passion for electing women to office in Illinois.

It's a cold, slushy weeknight as about 50 people pour into the community room of a Springfield grocery store on the west end of town. They're making protest signs for the second annual Women's March. Two friends sit in a corner using cutout letters and permanent marker. Business owner Katie Dobron is writing, "Vote women in."

Flickr user David Recordon / (CC x 2.0)

The “Me Too” movement brought attention to the issue of sexual harassment in entertainment. But the problem manifests itself in the sciences as well.

Research shows that sexual harassment is most likely to occur in organizations that tolerate it - and in those dominated by men.

“With both Hollywood and sciences, both of those things often hold,” says Kate Clancy, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois.

File photo by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has dismissed a long-time political consultant after an investigation found he sent inappropriate text messages to a colleague.

Madigan identified the consultant as Kevin Quinn in a statement Monday.

Madigan attorney Heather Wier Vaught says the woman is a political consultant not employed by Madigan.

Vaught says Quinn texted the woman seeking a date in 2016. There were fewer than a dozen texts but they continued after the woman told Quinn she wasn't interested.

davidmcsweeney.org

Two new proposals at the Illinois statehouse aim to hold lawmakers and other government officials accountable in cases of harassment or discrimination.

One measure would require city, county and other local governments to publish severance agreements with employees found guilty of misconduct on the government’s website and in local news sources for at least seven days. That would include the name of the employee receiving the payout, the dollar amount and an explanation of  what the employee was accused of.