SHRM CEO Testifies in California on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


Jason Gabhart By Jason Gabhart February 2, 2018

On Jan. 24, SHRM President and CEO Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, testified in Sacramento before the California Joint Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response at a hearing titled "Best Practices for Culture Change on Sexual Harassment."

The newly created Joint Subcommittee was established earlier this month and marks the first time the California Senate and Assembly will work together to examine how sexual harassment complaints are handled in the State Capitol. Responding to critics who pointed out that the Senate and Assembly had separate policies to handle sexual harassment complaints, and in response to the growing number of complaints against sitting legislators in California, the leaders of both chambers agreed that the formation of a Joint Subcommittee was necessary. SHRM was invited to share HR's perspective on this important workplace issue and was the only HR business group that received an invitation to participate on the hearing.

In his testimony, Taylor indicated that the legislative environment is uniquely susceptible to sexual harassment situations, much like in Hollywood and on Wall Street. He also stressed that culture is a much more significant deterrent than compliance when it comes to preventing or discussing sexual harassment. While compliance is a key component of a harassment-free workplace, Taylor expressed that it alone is not enough. Rather, he focused his remarks on how to establish a healthy work culture. He concluded his remarks by noting that a healthy culture is a competitive game-changer and establishing such will allow the Legislature to attract and retain the best people to meet the mission of serving the great people of California.

An archive video of Taylor's opening statement before the Joint Subcommittee is available HERE.


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