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FB0E7574C35D3C68872582C500548667 Hearing Summary


Date Jul 9, 2018      
Location HCR 0112

Overview of Legislative Workplaces in Other States - Committee Discussion Only

09:23:15 AM  

Jonathan Griffin, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), presented to the committee on legislative workplaces in other states. He referenced a handout on NCSL Recommendations Regarding Legislative Sexual Harassment Policies and Training [Attachment D].  Mr. Griffin stated that over 125 bills have been introduced throughout the country to address legislative sexual harassment and that most of the bills deal with internal policies.  He discussed the states that have expelled members or that have had members resign.  He answered questions about whether NCSL has been tracking states that have had complaints against legislators, to which he said no due to confidentiality issues.  He stated that at least 13 states have set up committees to look at legislative workplace harassment policies. He discussed the efforts states have made to address harassment of third parties, such as lobbyists and contracted employees. Mr. Griffin specifically referenced the policy changes in Georgia, Maryland, Maine, and Illinois.   He discussed the workplace harassment hotline set up in Illinois. He discussed other efforts to address workplace harassment in Washington, Indiana, and Virginia.

09:28:59 AM  

Mr. Griffin highlighted the efforts in California to address workplace harassment and responded to questions about those efforts.  Mr. Griffin discussed the California legislature's Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response.  He stated that the subcommittee issued its final recommendations on June 21, 2018.  He discussed the establishment of California's Legislative Counsel's Legislative Workplace Conduct Unit and California's efforts to address retaliation.

09:34:39 AM  

Mr. Griffin answered questions about California and Maryland's efforts to establish independent review commissions. In response to questions, he discussed how complaints against legislators are handled in other states, the role of independent commissions, and educating people about the policies that are in place.  Mr. Griffin answered questions about state models for addressing legislator misconduct. He stated that many states have various reporting entities and many states have committees to review complaints brought against legislators, such as a rules committee.  In response to committee questions, Mr. Griffin stated he would provide additional information about the committees in other states that review complaints against legislators, including how the committees are structured, how votes and confidentiality are handed, whether non-legislators serve on the committees, how the committees are accessed, and whether the committees also handle complaints involving employees and third parties. He referenced the voting requirements for the committee in Virginia and the recently adopted policy in New Mexico.

09:52:19 AM  

Mr. Griffin answered questions about states removing members without an ethics committee investigation.  In response to a question, he said that he could provide follow-up information about the human resource structures in other states, such as Oregon and Idaho. Mr. Griffin was asked to provide the committee with information about whether any states have adopted policies requiring accommodations for people bringing forth complaints that go beyond confidentiality.  He answered questions about policies regarding confidentiality.  The committee requested copies of  the policies adopted in California, Maryland, Delaware, Wyoming, and New Mexico. He discussed the sessions that will occur at the NCSL Annual Summit on workplace harassment.