Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed his first executive order, which tightens sexual harassment rules for thousands of state workers.
Sexual harassment has been in the headlines recently, including in Kansas, where accusations of misconduct have plagued the state Legislature.
Gov. Colyer is requiring executive branch employees under his control to have annual sexual harassment training.
“In light of the recent deluge of victims of sexual harassment who bravely stepped out, what are we going to do about it?” Colyer asked. “We’re going to act decisively. We’re going to respond.”
Colyer says harassment policies should be reviewed and updated at least every three years. Polices will contain reporting guidelines, including options for anonymously reporting harassment.
The rules will also apply to interns and contractors working for the state.
“We are going to have a positive, professional environment for everyone to work,” Colyer said. “Sexual harassment will not be tolerated, period.”
Colyer said his office will urge leaders in other parts of state government to consider similar policies.
The Kansas City-based Women’s Foundation hailed the announcement. President and CEO Wendy Doyle is glad to see a strong message coming out of the governor’s office.
“What we couldn’t be more pleased with is that it really starts at the top, in the leadership role,” Doyle said.
Doyle said Kansas is one of the first states to have an executive order like this to fight sexual harassment.
Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.
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