Sex Harassment Among Statehouse Staff Targeted by New Bill

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A new piece of legislation at the Ohio Statehouse would detail the sexual harassment complaint process, and formalize policy for people who work on Capitol Square.State Senator Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat, spearheads the legislation.

"We did send a notice to all members of the Senate and called each of the offices to encourage everyone join on, but the only co-sponsors we have at this point are the members of our Democratic caucus," Tavares says.

The legislation calls for sexual harassment policies to be public, kept on file and reviewed every two years for all entities or individuals who work on Capitol Square within the Statehouse. That includes lawmakers, aides, lobbyists, staff, contractors and news media.

"If it's passed, it will be one of the strongest anti-harassment pieces of legislation in the country," says Sen. Sandra Williams, a Cleveland Democrat.

"This legislation is long overdue. The culture that has existed for many years, this legislation is an attempt to change that culture," adds Sen. Cecil Thomas, of Cincinnati (North Avondale), a Democrat.

The senators say they know of many incidents on Capitol Square which have gone unreported for fear of someone losing their job or being harassed even further.

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