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HB 1053 Workplace harassment; legislative branch required to adopt policies.

Introduced by: Vivian E. Watts | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Policies against workplace harassment; legislative branch. Requires each legislative branch agency to adopt and implement the Commonwealth Workplace Harassment Policy (CWHP) established by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). CWHP will apply to legislative branch employees, including General Assembly members and members-elect, when undertaking meetings with other state employees, contract employees, applicants for employment, customers, vendors, members of the media, members of the public, volunteers, or lobbyists or conducting or performing reelection activities in the scope of official duties.

A victim of alleged workplace harassment will be able to file a complaint against a legislative branch employee, other than a member of the General Assembly, in accordance with the procedures of CWHP or with the Division of Human Rights in the Office of the Attorney General. The Division of Human Rights is authorized to investigate the complaint and use any other powers with regard to the complaint granted to it under law. Each house of the General Assembly is required to adopt rules governing procedures and disciplinary sanctions for General Assembly members violating policies against workplace harassment.

General Assembly members and members-elect, full-time legislative staff of General Assembly members compensated with state appropriations, and full-time employees of each legislative branch agency will be required to complete workplace harassment training once every two calendar years through the Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center, administered by DHRM. A primary component of the training will include sexual harassment training. The training will also address the importance of bystanders in reducing workplace harassment. Persons elected to the General Assembly or commencing or recommencing full-time employment in the legislative branch will have 90 days from the election or their dates of hire to complete the training.

DHRM will be required to maintain electronic records for five years for each person successfully completing workplace harassment training. Each record will include the name of the person completing the training, the state agency employer, the date the training was completed, and the name of the training course.

Each agency head in the legislative branch is responsible for ensuring that the agency's full-time employees successfully complete the training as required.

The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2019.