State lawmakers take on workplace sexual misconduct and harassment

04.12.18 | Bob Price

Last week, Democrats unveiled a package of bills to tackle the issue of workplace sexual harassment and misconduct, now it's the Republicans turn.

State Rep. Donna Oberlander says this is an issue that is long over due and should be taken care of quickly. "Sexual and workplace related harassment are serious issues that must be given prompt and direct attention," said Oberlander.

House GOP members unveiled their proposals to go after the issue, which includes creating a task force to investigate the laws and procedures surrounding workplace misconduct. State Rep. Sheryl Delozier says it wold based on the "Child Protection Task Force" that was established in 2011.

"To be able to ask the same questions, bring in research, find out where the gaps are, so that we can say how can we fix them?" said Delozier. "That was very successful, and enacted 12 pieces of legislation to protect our children."

The proposals also include having the "Joint State Government Commission" review anti-harassment and discrimination laws affecting state employees.

This announcement comes after House Republicans called on one of their own, Rep. Nick Miccarelli to resign after abuse allegations.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed says a lot of discretion in that case fell on political leaders, and the process does need to be looked at.

"I think safeguards in place to ensure there is a check and balance on those individuals is central to ensure such a scenario is handled properly in the future as well."

The House Labor and Industry Committee will hold a hearing on this issue in two weeks.