By Tori Mason
DENVER (CBS4)– After multiple complaints of sexual harassment and misconduct at the state Capitol, including one lawmaker who was expelled, a third party group was called in to review the policies and procedures.
Investigations Law Group released their findings in a 235-page report on Thursday.
Much of their investigation was conducted by interviewing and surveying state employees.
After reviewing the results, investigators say the General Assembly’s polices, rules and procedures need be updated.
While almost all participants said they felt “safe” and “comfortable” at work, nearly 30 percent reported having seen or experienced harassment.
The report says retaliation is a real concern that’s not being adequately addressed. Surveyors say the need for anonymous reporting was brought up by several employees.
Investigations Law Group recommends a Standing Workplace Culture Committee for each chamber. That committee would receive the results of investigations and be responsible for disciplinary action.
The report also suggests giving human resources more resources. It states there needs to be more training and education on what is okay and what’s not in the workplace.
Investigators say no state Legislature is perfect. While Colorado’s is taking the right steps toward a better work environment, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“These are complex issues and it was helpful to get the experience of an outside expert to do a survey, do interviews, and provide recommendations about what the next step should be. I think we have a lot more engagement to do with legislators from across the state to make sure we’re taking the right steps to change a policy and also to ensure that we meaningfully reform the culture of the capital,” said House Speaker Crisanta Duran.
Duran wanted to have a new policy in place by May 9, but after seeing the size of the report she says it’s going to take longer. The committee says they want to give this report the time it deserves, even if it means working into the summer.
Last month, Rep. Steve Lebsock was expelled for sexual misconduct allegations.