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Colorado lawmakers finally poised to act on workplace sexual harassment

Former Colorado State Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Democrat, was expelled in 2018 over sexual harassment allegations.

The Colorado legislature will soon discuss broad changes to how it handles workplace harassment complaints at the state Capitol. Lawmakers had originally pledged to pass the changes by last May after a series of sexual harassment allegations roiled the statehouse.

The aim is to streamline and speed up the reporting process, make credible complaints against state lawmakers public and beef up confidentiality protections for accusers. The new policy would also apply to the hundreds of lobbyists who work under the gold dome, should they ever be accused of harassment.

Discussions on the Capitol’s workplace culture dominated the 2018 legislative session. The House voted to remove Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock from office over a number of sexual harassment complaints – the first expulsion of a sitting state lawmaker in over a century. By the end of the session, allegations from more than a dozen people against four other state lawmakers were investigated, and all were found to be credible.

Accusers who filed complaints described that process as grueling, partisan, uncertain, inconsistent and secretive. So they pushed for it to change.

Read the rest of the story at Colorado Public Radio.

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