(Nov. 21) – Responding to workplace harassment allegations involving Colorado legislators, House and Senate leadership announced today that they will meet to consider a review of how workplace harassment issues are handled in the General Assembly.
The Executive Committee of the Legislative Council will meet to discuss moving forward with hiring an independent consultant to review the legislature’s existing procedures regarding workplace harassment and issue recommendations to the legislature, as well as to determine the review’s scope and timeline.
The review will involve gathering research and seeking input from interested parties during the course of the review, and holding a hearing on the recommendations and any proposed rule changes that result from the review.
The review will also look at issues including but not limited to:
- A best-practices survey of workplace harassment policies in other states and the private sector
- Whether an independent body or other neutral third-party organization should be established to handle workplace harassment complaints, and potential models to consider
- Suitable methods for reporting complaints, including online reporting options
- How confidentiality should be handled in workplace harassment or sexual harassment complaints
- Suitable remedies for complaints of workplace harassment
- Record keeping
- Protections against retribution
- Proper safeguards to allow patterns of harassment to be clearly detected and handled appropriately
- Best practices for awareness and training on what constitutes workplace harassment and the procedure for filing a complaint under the policy
As a part of the review, research and input will be gathered from a wide range of sources, including but not limited to: the Office of Legislative Legal Services, Legislative Council, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the state Department of Personnel and Administration, the state attorney general’s office, human resources and employment law experts, victims’ advocacy groups, legislators, employees and others who do business at the legislature.
In addition to setting up this process, the leaders agreed to discuss formalizing proposals for workplace harassment training to be conducted annually for all legislators and staff and to be expanded to offer the most comprehensive training available.
The Executive Committee of the Legislative Council includes Senate President Kevin Grantham, House Speaker Crisanta Duran, Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, House Majority Leader KC Becker, Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman and House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. The date and time of the Executive Committee meeting will be announced as soon as it is confirmed.