Hawaii House of Representatives updates sexual harassment policy
  • Friday, February 15, 2019
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Hawaii House of Representatives updates sexual harassment policy

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    House speaker Scott K. Saiki (D), left, and majority leader Della Au Belatti (D) answer questions during a news conference today at the State Capitol in Honolulu, Hawaii. House leadership members revealed an updated sexual harassment policy, in light of the departure of former speaker Joseph Souki in 2018.

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Hawaii’s House of Representatives has revamped its sexual harassment policy, a result of pressures brought on by the #MeToo movement and resignation of House Speaker Joe Souki last year amid complaints by several women that he had made unwanted advances toward them, including sexual comments, touching and kissing.

The new policy includes revised definitions of sexual harassment, clarifies reporting procedures for filing a complaint, prohibits retaliation against someone who files a complaint and requires annual training for all House members and employees, among other changes. The policy, which covers harassment in general, including bullying, has expanded from one page to four pages.

The policy also covers people who do business with the House, but are not members or staff.

“The goal is not only to provide protections, but to create an environment that is civil and promotes public confidence in the institution and its members,” said House Speaker Scott Saiki in a press release.

The House still needs to vote on the policy in order for it to be adopted, which is expected to happen this month.

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