Dems: Rules & Administration Committee Report – Week 15, 2018

April 17, 2018
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Senate Harassment Prevention Policy

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

The Rules & Administration Committee adopted an updated Harassment Prevention Policy for the Senate’s Personnel Guidelines. The changes – coupled with a change to the Senate’s Code of Ethics – are another step toward ensuring the Iowa Senate will become a safe and healthy environment.

Because of these changes to the Personnel Guidelines:

  • Victims of harassment will have a clear path to file complaints and have them investigated in a fair, impartial and confidential manner. This includes victims of sexual harassment and other forms of unlawful harassment (e.g., race, ethnicity, age, disability, gender identify, sexual orientation, etc.). Existing Senate policies in this area were inadequate, unclear and needed to be improved.
    • In addition, the changes allow the Director of Human Resources to refer complainants to external investigators when the Senate harassment prevention remedies have been exhausted and the complainant requests additional investigation by an external investigator, or the complainant requests the referral of the complaint to an external investigator before or during the investigation.
  • Victims who step forward to file a complaint about harassment will be protected from retaliation or discrimination by anyone. The same protections will also be available for witnesses and others involved in any investigation. Existing Senate policies in this area were inadequate or non-existent.
  • There will be a clear process for punishing any Senator, employee or anyone else who takes retaliatory action against someone who has filed a complaint. The same process will also protect witnesses and others involved in any investigation. Existing Senate policies were inadequate or non-existent in this area.
  • There will be a clear process for disciplining any Senator, lobbyist, media employee or vendor who violates the anti-harassment policies. Existing Senate policies were inadequate or non-existent in this area.
  • All Senators, staff and interns will be required to attend training every year regarding the Senate’s anti-harassment policies and complaint procedures.
  • The Senate Majority Leader, Senate President, Senate Minority Leader, Secretary of the Senate and other staff supervisors will be trained at least once every General Assembly on how to properly receive, investigate and, if warranted, to take corrective action. There was previously no requirement for this kind of training.
    [4/17: short form]

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