City of LA to review sexual harassment and assault policy

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Thursday, November 30, 2017
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The Los Angeles City Council is reviewing the city's sexual harassment and assault policies in light of increased public attention on the issue.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With increased attention on the issue of sexual harassment, Los Angeles city officials are reviewing their own policies to protect the safety of their 50,000 employees.

"Certainly we've seen people in politics and in the media and in the entertainment industry, and this morning another journalist just when down for this very same issue," said LA City Council member Nury Martinez.

Council members say there hasn't necessarily been a rise in reported cases by city employees, but they've discovered that the current reporting system is too complicated.

"My own policy staff of a city council office was trying to get the current copy of the sexual harassment policy of the city and it wasn't easy to get. So, if that's the case, how much harder is it for a woman who is driving a truck for the DWP, for example?" said council member Paul Krekorian.

"We need to make it easy. We need to make it easy to report. We need to empower victims to know that when they do report, they're going to be protected."

So what are the council members proposing? Establishing a sexual harassment and assault complaint hotline and website. Also, taking a closer look at the reported complaints from the past five years in each department.

'We believe that these reporting hotlines can lend to the increasing transparency that's giving people, male and female, the power to speak out," said Maryam Zar, who is on the Commission of the Status of Women.

Some, possibly all city employees will be asked to take a survey as part of the restructuring. Policy recommendations are expected early next year.