BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards has issued an executive order launching the Governor's Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy.
The task force, consisting of seven members, will review current harassment and discrimination policies within every state agency that falls under the executive branch. They will also seek to identify the best ways to create working environments that are free from any kind of harassment or discrimination.
"Every person, whether they work in state government or private industry, should be able to do their jobs without fear of being sexually harassed or discriminated against," said Edwards. "There is no circumstance under which harassment or discrimination of any kind will be tolerated by my administration. This task force will help us identify which current policies are effective and which ones are not, whether new ones need to be implemented and whether additional changes need to be made in these areas. The goal is to ensure state employees are safe at work and have the confidence in knowing that any allegation made will be taken seriously and that there are adequate procedures in place to address those complaints. The work has already begun, and we will have helpful discussions and feedback in very short order."
The duties of the task force include:
Review the sexual harassment and discrimination policies of each state agency within the executive branch
Research and identify the most effective mode of training to prevent workplace sexual harassment and discrimination and evaluate the effectiveness of the existing video state employees are required to view each year
Develop a protocol for sexual harassment and discrimination policy orientation for new employees, those participating in any state sponsored training academy and employees promoted to supervisory positions
Research and identify the specific conduct that should be prohibited by sexual harassment and discrimination policies
Research and identify a clear reporting process when an allegation is made as well as the most appropriate action that should be taken once an investigation is completed
The task force will make specific recommendations to ensure the uniformity of harassment and discrimination policies among state agencies. They will submit a report with their findings to the governor no later than March 1, 2018. Furthermore, all state agencies must review their policies and submit a detailed report to the commissioner of administration before January 1, 2018.