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Government & Politics

Legislation To Create Sexual Harassment Policy

Charleta Tavares
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News
: Sen. Charleta Tavares, sponsor of the legislation, speaks at a podium.

Some state lawmakers are backing a new bill to reform sexual harassment training standards for themselves and their colleagues. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, with only Democratic support, it's unlikely to pass.

Republican Gov. John Kasich referred to the national problem of sexual harassment in his State of the State speech.

“Hollywood harassment. I am not going to say a word. It screams at us every day.”

But Democratic Rep. Dan Ramos said, after the event, he wished Kasich had said more.

“As the governor, he should have been one of the people to say ...'Look, it’s not just Harvey Weinstein.”

Fellow Democratic Sen. Charleta Tavares says she agrees Kasich should have said something about recent incidents of inappropriate sexual behavior or harassment involving state lawmakers and top staffers at the Statehouse. But Tavares says lawmakers need to do more than talk about the problem. She’s proposing legislation to reform sexual harassment training and policies.

“It requires that all organizations that are a part of Capitol Square that they have sexual harassment, anti-discrimination policies, that they are reviewed annually, that they have training.”

The bill also creates a bipartisan task force that would review policies and make recommendations for next steps or changes. What the bill doesn’t have right now is support from any of the Republicans who dominate in the Legislature. Tavares had written a letter about her concerns last year, but only Democratic lawmakers and staffers signed it. And once again, only minority Democrats have signed onto this bill.