Addressing sexual harassment at the Minnesota Capitol

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Several high-profile allegations of sexual misconduct have renewed efforts to ensure a safe space for legislators, staff, and all who work at or visit the Minnesota Capitol. The Senate DFL believes this is an important, bipartisan issue that must be addressed in a timely matter. While DFL leaders supported the creation of a public, nonpartisan task force on sexual harassment, the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have chosen to handle sexual harassment policy updates internally.

All Minnesotans deserve workplaces free of harassment and discrimination, no matter their field of work or place of employment. Current Senate policy requires senators and staff to attend a sexual harassment training upon being sworn in or hired and again every five years. Senate DFL Leader Tom Bakk asked all DFL senators to attend one of the available trainings whether they have trained in the last five years or not, indicating that training attendance will be discussed in an upcoming public Subcommittee on Rules and Administration hearing.

Governor Dayton will propose legislation this session to establish a central administrative body responsible for ensuring stronger protections against sexual harassment, more immediate responses to complaints, and more consistent consequences for offenders.