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01A2AC3EFC9556E5872582F600791409 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For FOLLOW-UP PRESENTATION ON LEGISLATIVE WORKPLACES IN OTHER STATES

INTERIM COMMITTEE  LEGISLATIVE WORKPLACE INTERIM STUDY COMMITTEE
Date Aug 15, 2018      
Location HCR 0112



Follow-Up Presentation on Legislative Workplaces In Other States - Committee Discussion Only

09:05:30 AM  

The meeting was called to order.  A quorum was present, and the agenda was distributed (Attachment A). 



Jonathan Griffin and Brian Weberg from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) presented information about legislative workplaces in other states, as a follow-up to the information Mr. Griffin had presented to the committee at the July 9 meeting.   



Mr. Griffin began the presentation and referenced handouts about selected differences in 2018 sexual harassment policies (Attachment B) and policies from other states (Attachments C to F).  He summarized policies in California, Delaware, and New Mexico that allow for an independent panel to investigate claims.  He also discussed the confidentiality of investigations and noted that most state policies use the "to the extent possible" standard, with the exception of California that allows for legislative investigatory documents to be released if claims are substantiated.  

Mr. Griffin next discussed selected procedures for investigating a member of the legislature for sexual harassmentand provided a handout to the committee (Attachment G). He explained the entities that investigate complaints (such as a special committee, outside investigator or human resources manager), punishment recommendations, and the composition of committees that impose consequences.  He answered questions from the committee about special accommodations, committee deadlocks, and independent third party investigators.  Mr. Griffin noted that Maryland is the only state that has a review committee comprised of members from both chambers.

 

09:30:43 AM  

Brian Weberg, Director of NCSL Center for Legislative Strengthening, next presented on the composition of human resources (HR) offices in state legislatures.  He stated that legislatures have been reviewing their respective HR structures in terms of location, jurisdiction, and scope.  He distributed a memo that outlines six general HR organizational approaches applied by state legislatures (Attachment H). These six types range from no official HR office or personnel to caucus or chamber-based ones to a centralized office that services all personnel.



Committee members asked questions about HR functions and jurisdiction, including non-partisan staff, aides, and other at-will, short-term employees.  The committee expressed interest in developing an HR office that could endure various administrations.   Mr. Weberg reiterated that HR should be able to stand on its own and not have a relationship to partisan politics.  



The committee discussed workplace culture and diversity, as well as other more traditional aspects of HR, such as job classifications, salary, hiring, candidate recruitment, equal pay, overtime policies, and payroll.  



Committee members discussed training, accommodations, accountability, the role of leadership,and ethics.  Further discussion ensued about the difficulties and conflicts with holding elected officials accountable.  



Mr. Weberg continued to explain the scope of HR offices in other states and provided examples of various models, including the roles of the HR administrator and victims advocate.  In response to a question about an ombudsman, he was unaware of states that have employed one for this purpose. 






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