Statement by California State Senate Leader

Monday, October 23, 2017

SACRAMENTO – California State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) today released the following statement in response to recent reports of sexual harassment and assault in the Capitol community:

“Today the state Senate announced the hiring of two independent firms in response to the reports of a pervasive culture of sexual harassment in the Capitol community.

“The Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer will be conducting an external investigation of the allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and CPS HR Consulting has been retained to review the Senate’s policies and practices against harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

“The scope of work for CPS HR Consulting will also include a review of the Senate’s outreach and recordkeeping, and the Senate is asking for recommendations on how to improve reporting and responsiveness to staff and third parties filing complaints.

“I have also sent a letter to all members of the Institute of Governmental Advocates to highlight the Senate’s existing zero tolerance policy and raise awareness on how our institution’s policies and procedures can be utilized to report violations of the code of conduct.

“There’s always more employers can do to protect their employees. Everyone deserves a workplace free of fear, harassment and sexual misbehavior and I applaud the courage of women working in and around the Capitol who are coming forward and making their voices heard.”