After Sexual Harassment Scandals, Florida Senate Changes Policy -- But Not Rules
The Florida Senate, where incidences of a hostile work environment have spawned formal and informal complaints of sexual harassment and led to the resignation of a powerful state senator last month, on Thursday decided it was time to crack down.
The Senate released a sweeping new employment policy that for first time specifically prohibits sexual harassment of employees and lobbyists and allows the Senate president to initiate a formal complaint against a senator that could lead to his or her ouster.
The measure encourages anyone with a claim of sexual harassment to come forward to the Senate president, staff or the Legislature's human resources office. It requires staff and senators to be subject to annual training and, starting this session, lobbyists would also be given a copy of the policy and encouraged to report any claims of harassment or abuse.