Women’s Foundation to Work With Attorney General Josh Hawley to Combat Sexual Harassment

JEFFERSON CITY – Women’s Foundation announced today that it will partner with Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley on a comprehensive review of existing discrimination and harassment policies in the Capitol and across state government.

The Attorney General’s Office and the Women’s Foundation jointly issued a set of general principles that will help guide this statewide review. These guideposts draw on the Women’s Foundation’s past experience advising government entities on discrimination and sexual harassment best practices.

“Every instance of sexual harassment is a barrier to women’s political and professional advancement,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation. “As an organization that is dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership positions, we’ve seen first-hand how sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation can deter women from civic engagement. We look forward to continuing to be a resource for the Attorney General’s Office, the Missouri General Assembly and all public officials working to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in state government.”

In December, the Women’s Foundation issued recommendations for preventing and combating sexual harassment in the Kansas Legislature. Women’s Foundation also worked with Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer on his executive order to eliminate sexual harassment across state government.

In Missouri, Women’s Foundation partnered with Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) and Partners In Prevention to create the Intern Resource Network to help Missouri’s interns and employers understand how to best prevent and report sexual harassment.

The guideposts announced today with Attorney General Hawley are:

1.    Policies should clearly define harassment, discrimination, and retaliation and should provide concrete examples of prohibited conduct.

2.    Policies should establish clear and expeditious procedures for reporting, investigating, and acting on allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

3.    Policies should provide victims with channels for submitting anonymous complaints to alleviate possible concerns regarding retaliation.

4.    Policies should provide for specific, predictable, and prompt consequences for employees found to have engaged in harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

5.    Policies should provide strong checks to prevent retaliation against those who report possible harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

6.    Policies should provide regular review and updating of employment policies.

7.    Agencies that employ interns should have policies that specifically address issues relating to employee conduct toward interns.

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The Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using research, philanthropy, and policy solutions to make meaningful change. More information about the organization can be found at www.Womens-Foundation.org.