At a time when sexual harassment claims are prevalent, many injustices have been brought to life that have happened recently and that happened moons ago but were kept quiet. In an effort to combat this from happening again, the House successfully passed Bill 7007, which House speaker Richard Corcoran called “the strongest sexual harassment reforms in the nation.”
In a written statement, he explained that “Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace. The Florida House has a zero tolerance sexual harassment policy, which we proactively strengthened in 2016. Everyone will be held accountable for their actions. The Florida House is giving every single employee, lobbyist, guest, and elected official a choice: treat others with dignity and respect, or lose your job or your access to the House. It’s that simple.”
Kristin Jacobs, a Democrat from Coconut Creek an a sponsor of Bill 7007, commented that “This legislation is further proof that Republicans and Democrats, men and women, can work together toward the common goal of protecting others in the workplace. No person should be treated with indignity or disrespect … and I sincerely thank Speaker Corcoran for his foresight and commitment to this issue.”
What the legislation ensures is:
- Making a single unwelcome sexual advance an actionable offense.
- It protects legislative members, employees, agency employees, public officers and lobbyists.
- It applies to state employees, legislative members and lobbyists.
- It requires supervisors who observe or have direct knowledge of sexual harassment to respond promptly and initiate required actions.
- It ensures the confidentiality of witnesses and subjects of harassment.
- The identity of the complainant and witnesses and unnecessarily embarrassing information will be omitted from written findings of an investigator.
- Until probable cause is determined, the written report, identities of complainant and witnesses, and all information in the record shall remain confidential.
- It requires public officer and employee training.
- Employees need to sign and acknowledge having received the training, and it will be included in the employee’s personnel file.
- Any Suspected criminal conduct must be reported to law enforcement.
- It prohibits retaliation and false reporting.
- It provides access to victim advocate services and reasonable employment accomodations.
- It requires employee climate surveys to be conducted at least every two years by employing agencies.
More information can be found here: