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Governor plans to earmark funds for monitoring sexual harassment

Gov. Jerry Brown has released his budget proposal that offers financing to help fight sexual harassment. The proposal would pay for a special program to stop those accused of sexual harassment from changing jobs inside the government. The financing amounts to $1.5 million, which would be used by the California Human Resources Department to monitor discrimination and sexual harassment complaints.

The sexual harassment tracking program would help resolve a problem relating to the state's difficulty in tracking sexual harassment complaints throughout different government departments. According to the governor's proposal request, "The recent exposure of sexual harassment cases in California revealed the need to track complaints and analyze data related to claims filed by employees and the amounts paid in judgments and settlements of those complaints."

The California Human Resources Department would use the additional funding to pay for three employees and a consultant to build the monitoring program. The monitoring system would create a listing of individuals who have complaints against them and a plan for monitoring the investigation results relating to those complaints.

According to a Sacramento Bee report from April, there have been numerous instances of state workers whose behavior triggered sexual harassment lawsuits and settlements. In spite of the lawsuits and settlements, many of these workers were able to move to different state departments and even keep their jobs – primarily because California doesn't have a system in place to track sexual harassers. Hopefully, once this system is up and running, there will be fewer instances of sexual harassment; and, as a result, there will be fewer individuals harmed by this abuse and less need to pursue sexual harassment claims in court.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Sexual harassment in state workforce would get new scrutiny from Brown proposal," Adam Ashton, June 06, 2018

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