SHRM Reacts to State Legislatures’ Preparation to Prevent and Deal with Sexual Harassment

Jan 11, 2018
A report by The Associated Press found that, while most state legislatures have policies about sexual harassment, many lawmakers are not required to undergo educational training about what sexual harassment is or how to report it. 

In response to the 50-state review of state legislature practices and policies by the AP, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) issued this statement:

“State legislatures, like all workplaces, should be free from harassing and offensive behavior,” SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, said. “There is an opportunity now for state legislatures to make that happen. Policies and procedures are important and must be put in place. But they alone are not enough. SHRM calls on state legislatures to build healthy workplace cultures that will support a harassment-free environment.” 

SHRM encourages all state legislatures to act by:

• Committing to a workplace culture of respect, tolerance and civility — one that does not tolerate harassment and one in which everyone is held to the same standard.
• Adopting a policy that defines workplace sexual harassment and provides a procedure for promptly addressing complaints.
• Conducting regular, thorough educational training for both staff and lawmakers.
• Educating supervisors to report to human resources knowledge of and concerns about unlawful harassment or other inappropriate conduct.
• Preventing retaliation.
• Ensuring harassment does not happen but fully investigating it – and acting on the results – when it does.

Media: For more information and to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and Kate.kennedy@shrm.org or Vanessa Hill at 703-535-6072 and Vanessa.hill@shrm.org.

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