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The Washington Post has a story about a new bill being proposed in the Delaware legislature that “seeks to hold companies with more than 50 employees (including interns and volunteers) responsible for sexual-harassment violations when it ‘knows or should have known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action’.”

This legislation, the story says, “would require these employers to provide two hours of anti-sexual-harassment training every two years to ‘supervisory employees,’ starting within six weeks of assuming their positions. Sexual harassment in the bill is broadly defined as ‘unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature’ … Under the measure, owners of a company would be held responsible if they knew about the conduct and failed to take corrective action.”
KC's View:
I know this is just one state, and one bill. And the story makes clear that “some business groups argue that employers can address this problem on their own, without the government imposing additional requirements.”

But while I don’t think that regulation ought to be the first, best response to any problem, I do believe that the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace is one that, while it obviously has existed forever and is getting a lot more attention these days, is not going away. There need to be hard and swift penalties.

I hope this bill, or something like it, gets serious consideration, and that some responsible and nuanced version of it is not just passed in Delaware, and gains traction elsewhere. And I hope that the business community gets behind the effort.

it is time. We need to be better than we’ve been.