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Colorado Lawmakers Endorse Changes To Workplace Harassment Policy

Ken Lund
CC BY-SA 2.0

A bipartisan group of Colorado lawmakers has agreed to update the Capitol’s workplace harassment policies in the wake of the harassment scandals that plagued the legislature last session.

The new rules aim to make harassment victims more comfortable reporting bad behavior.

To do that, the policies will be changed to allow complaints to be filed with a non-partisan human resources office, instead of with a partisan elected official.

It will also establish a standard to help determine whether someone violated the harassment policy.

The work culture at the Capitol is still on the minds of the public months after Steve Lebsock was expelled from the House due to sexual harassment allegations.

During a 2 p.m. tour of the Capitol on Friday, a teacher from Aurora asked a tour guide in the Senate gallery who oversees the lawmakers’ behavior, and whether there is an ethics committee.

The workplace harassment policy changes were unanimously approved Thursday by the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council, which is a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers.

Broader changes to the workplace harassment policy will likely be considered by the General Assembly during the upcoming legislative session.

Outgoing House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, predicted the rule changes will improve the working environment at the Capitol. But she said Thursday there’s still more work to be done.

“We know that we have more work to do to address the issue of harassment at the Capitol, and the culture, head on,” she said.

And outgoing Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, also said the legislature still has some “heavy lifting” to do to address workplace harassment.

The culture at the capitol is still on

To learn more about the workplace harassment policy at the Capitol, click here.

Scott Franz is an Investigative Reporter with KUNC.
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