Bill requiring work-place harrassment training for legislators passes House committee

02/27/2014 03:39 PM

In the wake of the sexual harassment controversy that led to the resignation of a lawmaker last fall, legislators would now have to take annual, in-person training on workplace harassment, according to a bill that passed a House committee Thursday.

House Bill 378, sponsored by Representative Jeff Donohue and eight other House members, would require both House and Senate members to have joint training annually.

“We need to send a good, clear message to the constituents in Kentucky and also, that being elected leaders in the state of Kentucky, that we send a clear message that we’re serious about what we’re doing down here,” said Donohue.

Donohue was put in charge of an internal committee charged with investigating allegations that John Arnold sexually harassed three legislative workers while he was serving as a legislator in 2012 and 2013.

Arnold resigned in September about a month after the allegations became public.

Donohue chaired the House Special Committee that investigated the allegations but the group ended up disbanding without reaching any conclusions about Arnold’s actions. Donohue cited advice of the committee’s outside counsel, who said the committee didn’t have the authority to investigate someone who was no longer a member of the General Assembly.

“We’re held to a higher standard and we should set the example and be leaders and that’s what this legislation is all about,” said Donohue.


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