COUNTY WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING ADVANCES
January 10, 2018
Sharon Corrigan, County Board Chair 608.333.2285
Measure would extend training to LTEs, interns, youth government participants and elected officials
A resolution to provide sexual harassment training for anyone connected with Dane County government is moving forward.
The county’s Personnel & Finance Committee on Monday unanimously approved a resolution to extend sexual harassment training to all Dane County limited-term employees, interns, and youth who participate in county initiatives.
Also, the resolution requires that all newly-elected County Board Supervisors receive harassment training as part of their orientation.
“Given recent national news of harassment and abuse by those in entertainment, the media and in Congress it is imperative the county take every step necessary to both inform and protect its employees and others who work in county government,” said Supervisor Shelia Stubbs the main sponsor of the resolution.
The Dane County Code of Ordinances already specifies it is the duty of every manager to ensure that all employees under their supervision work in an environment free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined in the ordinance as “sexual advances, physical contact or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee's work performance or of creating an intimidating, coercive, hostile, or offensive environment.”
Recently, the county Department of Administration required all employees to complete a web-based training in workplace harassment. Managers and supervisors will also complete a mandatory in-person training session later this month.
The resolution under consideration by the County Board recognizes that the county does not routinely provide training for some of its potentially most vulnerable personnel: limited term employees, interns, youth governance program participants, and the youth who have internships with the county through the Operation Fresh Start, Boys and Girls Club and the Simpson Street Free Press. Further, there is no formal training in sexual harassment for elected officials, including members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors.
The resolution requires limited term employees and interns to receive the same training as regular employees, and charges the Tamara D. Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion with developing and delivering training for youth involved with county programs.
County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan noted that, in the past, there has been no formal training in sexual harassment for elected officials, including members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors.
“We must do everything possible to maintain respect in the workplace whether for part-timers, interns or members of our board,” she said.
Training of current members of the Board is being scheduled and will be a component of orientation for new supervisors.
The sexual harassment training resolution will go before the full Dane County Board at its first regular meeting of 2018 scheduled for Thursday, January 18th.