Dana Wachs calls for overhaul of workplace protections against sexual harassment in the legislature
'Frankly, Gov. Walker dropped the ball."
EAU CLAIRE – Dana Wachs called today for a complete overhaul of the training, reporting, and settlement procedures for sexual harassment and assault in the Wisconsin legislature. Despite recent revelations of sexual harassment and misconduct in Congress and at other statehouses around the country, Gov. Walker and his Republican leadership have failed to take proactive steps to create a more responsive, transparent system for addressing sexual harassment at Wisconsin’s Capitol.
“Every individual has a fundamental right to feel safe from sexual harassment or assault when they go to work and when they interact with coworkers offsite. It is completely unacceptable that the legislature does not have mandatory sexual harassment training for staff or legislators. It is completely unacceptable that there is not a clearly defined, transparent process for addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.
“Frankly, Gov. Walker dropped the ball. He should be leading all government agencies and the legislature on this issue, but he failed. Walker can’t simply be ignorant of the issues in his own statehouse. He can’t be ignorant to the admissions of sexual harassment and assault all across the country. Now is the time for leadership on this issue. So where is Gov. Walker?
“I will work closely with my colleagues in the legislature on new protections for legislative staff and lawmakers. And while I hope this process is collaborative, there are three key things we must accomplish. First, we must mandate new hire and annual sexual harassment training for all legislative staff, personnel, and lawmakers. Second, we must create a clear, simple system for reporting sexual harassment that protects those who report from retaliation. And we must provide transparency for the taxpayers on any settlements paid by the legislature.
“We cannot simply wait for revelations of sexual harassment to come out. It is the responsibility of each of us to create a healthy workplace. I am committed to leading on this issue for the legislature and for all of Wisconsin.”
Wachs for Wisconsin
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