Most of the news coverage that our readers see is probably focused on national politics, rather than local politics. However, state laws can affect the lives of Minnesota residents even more so than national laws. For instance, a recent article noted how the state legislature is continuing to work on issues addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.
According to the recent article, the first place for state lawmakers in Minnesota to start was in the legislature itself. At the end of last year, two lawmakers who had been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace resigned.
Next, lawmakers are working on changes to the definition of sexual harassment. The recent article noted that the proposed changes will make it easier to identify sexual harassment, loosening restrictive language in the definition to make it clear that such conduct does not need to be “pervasive” or “severe” to amount to sexual harassment. After that, there is a proposal to create a sexual harassment task force to help identify ways that this illegal conduct can be addressed more effectively by state laws and policies.
Lastly, there have been calls for a comprehensive review throughout the Minnesota state government on how sexual harassment in government agencies is addressed. The recent article noted that, in the past seven years, there have reportedly been over 265 sexual harassment complaints filed in state agencies. Of these complaints, the report notes that approximately half resulted in a reprimand. Leaders in the state government continue to review ways in which instances of sexual harassment can be eliminated in the workplace.
Source: minnpost.com, “Lawmakers promised to address sexual harassment during the 2018 legislative session. How’s that going?,” Briana Bierschbach, May 11, 2018