Jan. 23, 2017: Bicameral panel holds first hearing to combat sexual harassment in Legislature

January 23, 2018

Guest Press Release

SACRAMENTO – The Joint Committee on Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response will hold its first hearing Wednesday, January 24, 2018 to initiate a thorough discussion aimed at writing new rules and procedures for the California Senate and Assembly.

The new guidelines will be established to reduce incidents of sexual harassment in the Legislature, protect those who report harassment or abuse, and hold perpetrators accountable.

“Over the last three months, we’ve worked to not just understand the scope of harassment in the Capitol, but develop real solutions,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), who chairs the Subcommittee. “I’m determined that we get this right, so that we can protect victims and establish policies and procedures for the entire Legislature with true accountability and transparency.”

The Subcommittee’s initial meeting will hear from Jonathan Griffin, National Council of State Legislatures; Johnny C. Taylor Jr., Society for Human Resource Management; Joelle Emerson, Paradigm Consulting; Janet Denhardt, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California; and Kathleen Salvaty, Title IX Coordinator, University of California.

The intent of the first hearing is to provide an entryway into the Subcommittee’s in-depth work on issues that will include training to prevent sexual harassment, proper investigation of reports and accusations, support for victims and other reporting individuals, consequences and accountability.

The Legislature has already taken steps to assist employees. The Assembly and Senate have agreed to work with WEAVE to provide a hotline for all legislative employees to contact WEAVE for confidential counseling and support services, offsite if so desired.

In addition to the Chair and Vice Chair Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), the bicameral and bipartisan Subcommittee includes Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Senator John M.W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes  (D-San Bernardino) and Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido).

The Subcommittee hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Capitol Room 4202.