Sex harassment policy could mirror Oregon

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) A group of senators and house members met for an hour Wednesday to discuss updates to the sexual harassment policies in place at the capital.

    Many said they were impressed with a policy developed by Oregon to handle the issue.  Recently, Dean Westlake, a house member from Kotzebue, resigned, after legislative staffers came forward and accused him of sexual harassment.  A Senator, David Wilson, was cleared of sexual harassment allegations.

    Senator Peter Michicchi says an Oregon policy would be a good one for Alaska to consider, "I really like the Oregon policy but if we are going to vary from that, if we need a specific one for Alaska, that is fine. The most difficult thing to understand about sexual harassment is retaliation."

    He said sexual harassment is not a game and they owe it to state employees to keep them safe on the job.

    The committee said it appears the Oregon policy is working and is worth a thorough review.

    Other discussions focused on outside vendors and lobbyists and governing their behavior.

    They also discussed whether to look at a civility policy and bullying.


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