As the recent disclosures by the courageous women who have stood up to denounce sexual harassment and assault in state government have demonstrated, it is long past time to change the culture in Sacramento and throughout state government. Accountability must begin at the top. We must answer the brave victims who have declared #MeToo with a resolute #NeverAgain.
As Governor I pledge to:
- Require the nation’s most rigorous annual training and compliance efforts that send a clear message that there is zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault and it will be diligently enforced during my administration.
- I will establish a Hotline for state employees, interns and fellows to confidentially report harassment and create an office to assist victims in filing harassment complaints and supporting them through the process.
- I will create channels for state employees and elected officials to report harassment quickly, before it escalates. Women should have a voice in the process, and if they don’t want to file formal complaints or engage in legal battles, we still need an avenue for them to report and stop unacceptable behavior.
- I will protect victims and whistleblowers who file charges of harassment against retaliation.
- I will remove the investigation of sexual assault cases from the victim’s office and refer all cases to outside legal counsel. Sexual assault cases that cross the line into potential criminality will be referred to law enforcement for prosecution. I will also support the decision of victims to sue their harassers and have their day in court.
- I will refuse to allow those found guilty of sexual assault to hide behind walls of secrecy and power. Those who are found to have committed these acts will be publicly disclosed.
- Data published on health and safety conditions in the workplace will include statistics about sexual harassment.
- State anti-harassment policies will apply to lobbyists, interns, advocates and others who come into regular contact with legislative or regulatory agencies.
- The state shall adopt a policy similar to the one utilized by the University of California to eliminate the conflict of interest posed by consensual relationships between those where one has supervisorial or management authority over the other or where they influence that person’s terms of employment.
- Sexual or romantic relationships between interns and legislators or superiors shall be strictly prohibited.
- I commit to changing the culture in Sacramento by changing the makeup of state government to the extent that persons in powers feel they can commit sexual harassment, including assault, and get away with it. Positions in my Administration will be required to rigorously adhere to and enforce the anti-sexual harassment and anti-retaliation laws, regulations and policies.
- Finally, I will make it an urgent priority to examine other additional ways to eliminate sexual harassment and assault in state government. My administration will lead by example for all businesses in the state.