BATON ROUGE, LA (AP) - By MELINDA DESLATTE
Louisiana lawmakers have given final passage to the state's first government-wide policy against sexual harassment.
House Bill 524: www.legis.la.gov
Approval Wednesday came the day after Secretary of State Tom Schedler left office amid allegations he sexually harassed an employee.
The bill, supported by Gov. John Bel Edwards, will require state and local government agencies to enact anti-sexual-harassment policies that include a process for handling complaints, a ban against retaliation when someone files a complaint and mandatory prevention training each year.
The House sent the proposal by Rep. Barbara Carpenter to the governor with a 98-0 vote. Carpenter, a Baton Rouge Democrat, asked female lawmakers to surround her as she spoke about the bill.
The requirements will take effect Jan. 1, though agencies are encouraged to enact them sooner.