WNPR

Connecticut General Assembly Issues Sexual Harassment Questionnaire

Apr 20, 2018

A survey on sexual harassment was handed out Wednesday to anyone who works at the state Capitol, including lobbyists and state legislators.

Earlier this week, during a hearing about the legislature's sexual harassment policy, it was verified that just one sexual harassment complaint has been filed with the Office of Legislative Management in 10 years. But lawmakers told OLM that given the unique power dynamic inside the Capitol, sexual harassment does happen, it's just not reported.

Now an anonymous sexual harassment survey will hopefully give OLM a better picture of where, and under what circumstances harassment happens.

Some of the questions are blunt, like if the person taking the survey has ever been harassed or has witnessed harassment. But they go even further - like whether the perpetrator was a legislator or supervisor and whether the victim told anyone about the harassment.

Another section of the survey covers so-called quid pro quo sexual harassment, defined in the survey as “when someone in authority offers you a job-related benefit or threatens you with a job-related consequence in exchange for any kind of sexual conduct.”

The survey was handed out to all staffers, legislators, interns, as well as lobbyists. House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz told reporters he has urged his caucus' staff in an email to fill out the survey.

“We want to know,” said Aresimowicz. “We truly believe that we should have a work climate here that's free of harassment, free of intimidation. We want to have a safe workplace."

The results of the survey will help determine whether OLM needs to make changes to the legislature's sexual harassment policy, which has not been updated since 2014.