Measure would allow lawmakers to study sexual harassment


A Rhode Island lawmaker who herself was a victim of sexual harassment has introduced a legal measure that, if it passes, will form a group to review and study sexual harassment. Specifically, the group will examine both the most recent developments on the federal level as well as the laws and regulations of other states that are aimed at preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

The idea behind the group would be to come up with solutions that would improve this state's response to harassment in the workplace. Indeed, this is an important opportunity, in the wake of the #metoo movement, for this state to do key work to improve the conditions of the women who work in this state.

If the bill passes, then the group, which will be selected from a variety of government and business segments, would be expected to complete their work and report back to the Rhode Island Legislature by the beginning of this summer.

While workers could always use additional protection, it is equally important to remember that, even under the current laws, sexual harassment is illegal. In particular, all management must behave professionally around the opposite sex, and they must also assure that the workplace environment is one that does not tolerate harassment and severely punishes it when it does happen to occur.

If a Rhode Island resident feels that she, or he, has been a victim of sexual harassment, then legal options may be available. For instance, filing a suit can assure a victim that they get at least some of the justice they deserve. It also can be a good means of calling attention to a problem in today's society in the hopes that it will be solved sooner rather than later.

Source: Providence Journal, "R.I. bill would launch legislative study of sexual harassment in the workplace," Katherine Gregg, Feb. 15, 2018.

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