Arizona Senate Democrats Want More From Anti-Harassment Policy

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 5:36pm
Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017 - 9:46am
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Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs.

The Arizona State Senate has updated its sexual harassment policy. But not everyone is totally satisfied.

In a Thursday statement, State Senate Democrats said the updated policy is a good effort, but doesn’t go far enough. They wanted the policy to make explicit reference to gender identity when it lists race, gender, age and other identities protected with a zero-tolerance policy against harassment.

Here is the pertinent passage in the policy:

"The Arizona State Senate has a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace and sexual harassment and strives to provide an environment that is free from harassing conduct based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation and any other status protected by federal and state law."

Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs said, "despite our insistence, majority leadership refused to allow the inclusion of gender identity in the list of protected classes."

Democrats are in the minority in the State Senate, holding 13 seats to the GOP's 17. 

This fall, the Arizona House of Representatives adopted its first-ever policy against sexual harassment. That document made no reference to sexual orientation.

Both the Senate revision and the new House policy followed sexual harassment claims against Rep. Don Shooter. The claims are being investigated.

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