- House Bill 1342 - Legislative Branch of State Government - Sexual Harassment
- Rules and Executive Nominations Committee - March 5, 2018
Thank you for this opportunity to submit written testimony concerning an important priority of the Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County (WDC) for the 2018 legislative session. WDC is one of the largest and most active Democratic Clubs in Montgomery County. WDC’s members include more than 600 politically active women and men, including many elected officials.
WDC urges the passage of HB1342. This bill is based on recommendations from the Women’s Caucus of the General Assembly. It requires the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics to refer a sexual harassment complaint by a lobbyist against a member of the General Assembly to an independent investigator. The bill also empowers the State Ethics Commission to receive sexual harassment complaints that are made against lobbyists. It requires the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics to develop a code of conduct with a clear definition of harassment and retaliation as well as a list of consequences for violating this policy. It also requires a biennial climate survey on sexual harassment.
The current #MeToo movement has highlighted the need for improved regulations for preventing and punishing sexual harassment in a broad range of environments. This bill addresses and aims to eliminate current areas of weakness in the Maryland General Assembly’s internal policies against sexual harassment. SB1138 will help create a healthy and safe workplace for all who work in or with the General Assembly.
We ask for your support for HB1342 and strongly urge a favorable Committee report.