Legislative leaders set meeting to review workplace harassment policies at Colorado Capitol
Author: Ernest Luning - November 28, 2017 - Updated: November 29, 2017
Colorado House and Senate leaders plan to meet in mid-December to review workplace harassment policies at the state Capitol in the wake of a flurry of recent allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against legislators, Senate President Kevin Grantham said Tuesday.
The Legislative Council’s Executive Committee — made up of leaders from both parties in both chambers of the General Assembly — plans to hire an independent consultant to review existing procedures and issue recommendations to lawmakers. The panel also plans to discuss proposals to expand the scope and frequency of harassment training for legislators and staff.
“I look forward to meeting with leaders of both the Senate and the House to discuss how we can improve upon, and expand, our current workplace harassment policies to ensure that everybody in the Capitol can feel comfortable, safe, and respected,” said Grantham, a Cañon City Republican and chair of the committee, in a statement.
House Speaker Crisanta Duran said she’s glad the discussion is moving forward.
“It’s important that we hire an outside expert to review our processes and make recommendations about what works, what needs to be changed and the training and tools needed to create a workplace in which everyone feels safe,” the Denver Democrat said in a statement.
The meeting is set for 10 a.m. Dec. 15 at the Capitol.
The review will also include a survey of harassment policies in other states and in the private sector, different options for reporting complaints about harassment, policies concerning confidentiality of complaints and possible remedies when workplace harassment has taken place, legislative leaders said.
Four state lawmakers face recent, public allegations of sexual harassment: Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton; Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver; Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs; and Sen. Jack Tate, R-Centennial. All of them have denied any wrongdoing.
The committee intends to consult with various sources in its review, including the Office of Legislative Legal Services, Legislative Council, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the state Department of Personnel and Administration, the state attorney general’s office, human resources and employment law experts, victims’ advocacy groups, legislators, employees and others who do business at the Legislature.
In addition to Grantham and Duran, members of the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council include Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver; Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker; House Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder; and House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock.