AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT MANDATORY ETHICS TRAINING TO PREVENT WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND OTHER FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE, TO ADOPT CLEAR SANCTIONS POLICIES FOR WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND OTHER FORMS OF WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, TO CREATE AND IMPLEMENT A COMPLAINT FILING PROCESS THAT IS CONFIDENTIAL, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Enacts GS 120-32.05, directing the Legislative Services Commission and the Legislative Ethics Committee to jointly develop, adopt, and implement "zero tolerance" policies regarding sexual harassment, abuse, misconduct, gender bias, and all other forms of discrimination in the workplace. Requires the policies to be incorporated by reference into each chamber's permanent rules and include protections for pages and unpaid volunteers providing services to the General Assembly. Details required components of the policies, including: (1) mandatory ethics training for all legislators, officers, and legislative employees of the General Assembly; (2) effective and clear sanctions for incidents of harassment, abuse, misconduct, gender bias, and all other forms of discrimination in the workplace; (3) a complaint filing process for reporting conduct and violations to human resource services in the General Assembly; and (4) independent third party services, contracted by the Legislative Service Commission, to provide confidential information and advice to individuals who file complaints as well as investigative support and advice to the designated employee receiving and investigating reports of misconduct.
Appropriates $250,000 for the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 fiscal years from the General Fund to the Legislative Services Commission to implement the act, with $50,000 for literature, documents, and training materials necessary for a mandatory annual ethics training program and $200,000 for contractual services provided by an independent third party.
Effective July 1, 2019.