Women’s Foundation Commends Kansas Legislature’s Strides To Combat Sexual Harassment

Budget signed today by the Governor includes language addressing sexual harassment claims against state employees and officials

Topeka, KS – The Women’s Foundation today commended the Kansas Legislature and Governor Jeff Colyer for including a proviso in the state budget, which prohibits the use of state funds to settle sexual harassment cases or request non-disclosure agreements. The ban will apply to sexual harassment cases brought against state employees and elected officials.

“Kansas legislators are continuing to make progress towards implementing our recommendations and ending sexual harassment in the Capitol,” said Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of Women’s Foundation. “Transparency and accountability are critical to addressing this pervasive issue, and we thank Governor Colyer, Rep. Cindy Holscher, President Susan Wagle and Speaker Ron Ryckman for their work to protect taxpayers and combat sexual harassment. We said from the beginning that ending sexual harassment was going to require a long-term commitment, and these provisions demonstrate that Kansas leaders are serious about making positive change.”

This language builds on an updated sexual harassment policy adopted by the Kansas Legislative Coordinating Council earlier this year. 

The language in the budget proviso originally appeared in HB 2695, which was sponsored by Rep. Cindy Holscher of Overland Park. Co-sponsors included: Representatives Brim, Carlin, Clayton, Crum, Dietrich, Finney, Horn, Judd-Jenkins, Koesten, Kuether, Murnan, Parker, Pittman, Ward, Whipple and Winn.

Last year the Women’s Foundation issued recommendations for preventing and combating sexual harassment in the Kansas Legislature, including prohibiting secret settlements, banning arbitration and limiting mediation in sexual harassment cases Women’s Foundation also worked with Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer on his executive order to eliminate sexual harassment across state government and by state contractors.