STATES ATTEMPT TO ADDRESS SEXUAL HARASSMENT THROUGH LOBBYIST REGULATION
In the wake of recent scandals, a number of states have included lobbyists in their attempts to address sexual harassment in state Capitols. Several states have enacted sexual harassment policies that apply to lobbyists. However, the scope and enforcement of these laws/policies varies greatly.
Leading the effort is Illinois, which now requires, in part, that lobbyists complete an annual sexual harassment training program provided by the Illinois Secretary of State within 30 days of lobbyist registration or renewal. Lobbyists must also certify that their employers have adopted internal sexual harassment policies that satisfy state requirements. Thus far, the Illinois effort is the most robust and far-reaching effort.
The Florida Senate enacted a policy that requires lobbyists to acknowledge receipt of the sexual harassment policy prior to completing lobbyist registration. Similarly, the General Court of New Hampshire distributes copies of the sexual harassment policy to registered lobbyists who are required to sign a statement acknowledging receipt and understanding of the policy.
New Mexico enacted voluntary sexual harassment training for lobbyists; however, the Secretary of State is considering asking the legislature to mandate lobbyists undergo sexual harassment training prior to lobbying. The lobbyist registration form now explicitly asks whether the lobbyist has undergone any sexual harassment training in the past year and if the lobbyist’s employer has any sexual harassment policies in place.
Finally, legislation is being introduced in Utah that would require lobbyists to undergo annual sexual harassment training as a requirement to be a licensed lobbyist.
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Politicom Law is closely monitoring these developments and the potential impact on corporate lobby compliance programs.
Disclaimer: Politicom Law LLP makes this information available for educational purposes only to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this page, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Politicom Law LLP. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.