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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 8, 2018 11:09 AM
From: Representative Margo L. Davidson
To: All House members
Subject: #TimesUp – Sexual Harassment by Public Officials
In the near future, I plan to introduce two legislative proposals that, if enacted, would establish clear procedures for reporting sexual harassment by elected officials or public employees and ensure those found guilty of the behavior are punished appropriately.

Victims of sexual harassment involving people in positions of power must have the assurance that their complaints will be investigated by bipartisan, independent bodies rather than negotiated in secret. Furthermore, when a member or staffer is found guilty of sexual harassment, it is imperative that those findings are made public and that the perpetrator is penalized. My bills would provide victims of sexual harassment with two different options for reporting the misconduct. For those who commit sexual harassment, we say, “Time’s Up.”

Please join me in sponsoring these vital #TimesUp legislative proposals.

Document #1

Introduced as HB2313

Description: Proposal #1

My first bill would expand the duties of the State Ethics Commission, an independent state agency, to include investigating sexual harassment claims against officials and public employees at all levels of government in Pennsylvania.  The Ethics Commission currently investigates allegations of conflicts of interest, improper acceptance of gifts and using a public position for personal gain.  My legislation would use the commission’s established investigative process to apply to sexual harassment complaints.  If the commission finds an offender guilty of sexual harassment, he or she could be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution to the victim.  Furthermore, in cases involving a member of the General Assembly, the commission could recommend that the House or Senate pursue further penalties under the chamber’s rules.  Lastly, victims could choose to have their names redacted from final orders, but offenders could not.

Please join me in sponsoring these vital #TimesUp legislative proposals.

Document #2

Description: Proposal #2

My second bill would amend the Legislative Code of Ethics, which applies to all members and staff of the General Assembly, to prohibit any form of discrimination or sexual harassment.  If a member or staffer engages in either type of behavior, the victim can file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee, which will investigate the claims and recommend a punishment ranging from a reprimand or censure to expulsion from the House.  Additionally, the attorney general can bring a civil suit under this act to provide compensation to the victim.
Please join me in sponsoring these vital #TimesUp legislative proposals.