A couple of lawmakers in the Colorado state legislature have announced their departure from the body in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. One lawmaker denies that his decision has anything to do with the allegation against him, saying his decision not to run for re-election in 2020 is for financial reasons. The lawmaker has a background in business and is pursuing other opportunities.
In the case of this lawmaker, an intern accused him of sexual harassment about a year ago. The woman accused the legislator of leering at him and also making improper comments about her clothing. Although the woman’s allegations were substantiated in the face of the man’s denial, the leadership of the Colorado Senate ultimately decided that, even if true, the facts did not give rise to a sexual harassment claim.
In what appears to be an unrelated allegation, another state senator announced his resignation from the body effective in the upcoming weeks. While the man called his resignation a retirement, he had to hold off a vote to remove him from the Senate because of the sexual harassment allegations against him. Interestingly, the leadership of his own party did not appoint him to serve on any committees.
These stories just serve to reinforce what many residents of the Denver area probably already know, and that is that sexual harassment can occur even at the highest levels of what are thought to be the most reputable or, at least, distinguished, workplaces. When an employee is a victim of sexual harassment, she, or he, has legal options.