OTTAWA, IL – State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, is highlighting the passage of Senate Bill 471, a new law that places stricter penalties on individuals who physically attack essential workers at places like grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
“Essential workers have continually put their lives on the line day-by-day for weeks and should not be put in harm’s way by citizens who are angered they have to abide by policies set by individual businesses in order to keep their employees safe,” said Yednock. “These new policies create greater penalties for those who knowingly harm an essential employee while they are on the job.”
Yednock voted in favor of Senate Bill 471, which states that incidents of assault on an essential worker while he or she is on the job shall be classified as aggravated battery. With clear bipartisan support, the new law comes in response to an increase of attacks on essential workers, often caused by opposition of efforts put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The efforts of essential business and their employees deserve to be celebrated, and no employee should face violence simply because they are asking customers to follow the proper policies to protect themselves and other customers,” said Yednock. “As more and more traffic is directed toward businesses, gas stations and other facilities, this bill gives the necessary protections as essential workers continue to do their jobs for our communities.”