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State report calls for new measures to prevent sexual harassment

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Gov. John Carney on Tuesday released a report on the state’s sexual harassment policy calling for centralized tracking of complaints, additional staff training, agency accountability and other measures.

Last December, Carney tasked the Department of Human Resources to access the state’s current policy and recommend changes.

“As we all know, in recent months, allegations of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace have emerged across our country,” Carney said. “The State of Delaware, like all employers, has an obligation to protect our employees from facing harassment and assault of any kind.”

Recommendations include:

  • Policy Revisions: Consolidate the Policy on Anti-Discrimination, Workplace Harassment and Retaliation and the Policy Sexual Harassment Prevention to create one concise policy. This inclusive policy will outline a clear complaint process, necessary training, reporting, sexual harassment complaint tracking separately, and investigation requirements.
  • Centralized Reporting/Tracking: Develop or identify and secure a centralized tracking system to streamline reporting and tracking of complaints and investigations of harassment from filing to resolution. This one-stop-shop system will have the ability to create, manage, track, and report on allegations of harassment.
  • Performance Plans: Employee performance plans to include accountability for each employee to support a respectful workplace, free of discrimination and sexual harassment and sexual assault. The plans will set clear and specific performance expectations for each employee.
  • Training: Provide mandatory training to all new and existing employees on anti-discrimination, retaliation, bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, with periodic updates.
  • Agency Accountability: Execute Service Level Agreements with Executive Branch agencies to establish clear expectations, for training, monitoring and tracking performance to support a respectful workplace.
  • Communications Toolkit: Implement a communication plan to educate employees on the State’s sexual harassment policies, practices, procedures, and training. The plan should include marketing materials, talking points, and fact sheets, surveys, and evaluations.
  • Employee Relations Helpdesk: Enhance DHR’s helpdesk and continue to provide information and receive employee questions and complaints.

The report set completion dates for each recommendation. DHT will report publicly on any progress.

“We will take appropriate action on all of the report’s recommendations,” Carney said.

The full report is available here.

 

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