Pa. lawmakers take on workplace misconduct, harassment

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Democrats last week unveiled a package of bills to tackle the issue of workplace sexual harassment and misconduct. Now, it’s the Republicans’ turn.

State Rep. Donna Oberlander says this is an issue that is long overdue and should be taken care of quickly. 

“Sexual and workplace-related harassment are serious issues that must be given prompt and direct attention,” Oberlander said.

House GOP members unveiled their proposals to go after the issue. The proposals include creating a task force to investigate the laws and procedures surrounding workplace misconduct.

State Rep. Sheryl Delozier says it would be based on the Child Protection Task Force established in 2011.

“To be able to ask the same questions, bring in research, find out where the gaps are so that we can say how can we fix them,” Delozier said. “That was very successful, and enacted 12 pieces of legislation to protect our children.”

The proposals also include having the Joint State Government Commission review anti-harassment and discrimination laws affecting state employees. 

The announcement comes after House Republicans called on one of their own, Rep. Nick Miccarelli, to resign after abuse allegations.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed says a lot of discretion in that case fell on political leaders, and the process needs to be looked at.

“I think safeguards in place to ensure there is a check and balance on those individuals is central to ensure such a scenario is handled properly in the future as well,” Reed said.

The House Labor and Industry Committee will hold a hearing on the issue in two weeks.

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