Delaware legislature moves forward on revising sexual harassment policies
Delaware lawmakers are updating their sexual harassment policies after many allegations have popped up in statehouses across the U.S.
State leaders said they want to make it clear that such behavior won’t be tolerated here.
Senate President David McBride said he’s very upset by sexual harassment allegations that have surfaced in other states.
He said both the House and the Senate are moving to pass new policies that define the process for reporting and punishing bad behavior.
While the House expects its Ethics Committee would investigate an allegation, McBride said he doesn’t want senators to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against fellow legislators.
“I would want an independent group to look at the situation so that there’s no ‘buddy buddy’ nobody’s covering for anybody," he said. "You know, we’ve got friends in this body, I have legislative friends and I would want you to feel like we’ve had a very independent, fair assessment of what the allegation was.”
Punishment for sexual harassment could include censure all the way to expulsion. Members of the House say they expect to pass a new sexual harassment policy by the end of month.
McBride said lawyers are reviewing the House proposed rules. He says the Senate is taking additional time to vet different policy language. He adds he wants any allegation to be investigated by a neutral party.
“And what I would do immediately is call our attorney and most likely if it involves a senator or legislator, I would be looking to form some type of independent group,” he said. McBride said he’s not aware of any allegation of sexual harassment against a member of the Delaware General Assembly or staff member.
Numerous men from Hollywood, politics and journalism have been fired or have resigned after allegations of sexual harassment or assault have surfaced.