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Texas House Changes Sexual Harassment Policy

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Ryan Poppe
/
House Administration Committee

A Texas House committee has unanimously adopted an updated sexual harassment policy following detailed claims of harassment by male lawmakers at the state Capitol.

The House Administration Committee adopted improvements to the process Capitol staffers report incidents of sexual harassment by keeping those complaints private to avoid possible retaliation.

The committee’s chairman Fort Worth-area Republican Charlie Geren said the new policy also requires mandatory training for all Capitol staff.

“Training must be completed in the first 30 days of employment and every two years after,” he said. “For current members and staff it must be completed by January 31 of 2018.”

State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, who also sits on the House committee, says the new policy redefines “sexual harassment.”

“We spelled out what some incidents of harassment might be, but then we also spelled out sanctions so that it wasn’t just, ‘We’ll handle this,’ which the previous policy said,” Howard said.

Howard says the new policy insures that complaints will be investigated and addressed.

MORE | Read the complete Sexual Harassment Policy, Procedures Manual

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1