In recent months, Colorado has been rocked by reports of prevalent sexual harassment in the halls of the state capitol. It is clear that this is not something that just suddenly happened. Instead, it is part of a culture that has long-plagued the halls of government here.
Not only have the actions at the highest levels of state government resulted in sexual harassment allegations against several Colorado lawmakers, the ongoing investigation and response to the claims have resulted in an almost-$300,000 hit to the state’s taxpayers. Thus far, the expenses have been largely limited to investigative costs, training with respect to sexual harassment and attorneys’ fees. However, a new initiative is liable to push those expenses much higher
In the wake of these scandals at the state capitol, a committee has been given the task of addressing the workplace culture at the capitol and how such prevalent sexual harassment has been allowed. The Legislative Workplace Interim Study Committee has been charged with reviewing the sexual harassment policies that are currently in place and taking steps to reform the capitol’s culture.
Although the #metoo movement has helped bring sexual harassment to the fore in recent months, it is a deep-seated problem. The latest scandals at the state’s capitols and universities only show that it is not a new problem but rather is a problem that has been allowed to exist and even thrive due to cultures of silence and intimidation. Now that the culture has begun to shift away from normalized sexual harassment, anyone who has been harassed at the workplace should feel more comfortable about reporting it. The help of an experienced employment attorney can also help to ensure that those who have suffered harassment are appropriately compensated.