DENVER – The first meeting to address the Colorado Legislature’s workplace harassment policies is scheduled for next month, top legislative leaders announced Tuesday.
The Executive Committee of the Legislative Council will have its first meeting to talk about the state of the harassment policies, and any possible changes that might need to be made, on Dec. 15.
The meeting comes on the heels of allegations of sexual harassment or unwanted advances made against four state lawmakers —both Democrats and Republicans—in recent weeks.
After some of the initial allegations were made, both House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Senate President Kevin Grantham called for a review of the harassment policies at the Capitol amid pushes for formal complaints to be filed against anyone being accused.
The plan from Duran, D-Denver, called for a full third-party review of existing workplace harassment policies, looks to bridge partisanship, would work to put more safeguards into the reporting process, and would put in place yearly training for people who work at the Capitol.
Grantham, R-Canon City, floated similar ideas at the time: increasing trainings for all legislators and Capitol staffers, expanding the topics the training covers, creating an offline reporting system, publishing extra resources on the Legislature’s website, and creating a committee to review policies and guidelines.
Duran and Grantham both sit on the committee, as do Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, House Majority Leader KC Becker, Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman and House Minority Leader Patrick Neville.
Leadership from both parties were pleased Tuesday at the announcement of a date for the discussions.
“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,” Grantham said in a written statement.
“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,” Duran said.
The four Colorado lawmakers accused of harassment have all denied the allegations.