INDIANAPOLIS — All three branches of Indiana government are updating and expanding their sexual harassment policies and training in the wake of the nationwide "Me Too" movement.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on Thursday signed into law House Enrolled Act 1309, requiring members of the General Assembly to annually participate in at least one hour of sexual harassment training, in addition to mandatory ethics training.
The new statute also creates a bipartisan, bicameral panel tasked with revising the Legislature's sexual harassment policies and developing a process to investigate claims of sexual harassment against state representatives and senators.
"For years we have required our staff members to have sexual harassment training, but it has not been required of the legislators," said state Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis.
"This is an important step for the legislative branch of government, and also this sends a message to all Hoosiers that the legislators of our government take sexual harassment seriously."
Following the signing, Holcomb said the executive branch he oversees also is updating its sexual harassment policies, and all of its 30,700 employees, from hourly workers to state agency heads, will complete annual training on workplace harassment, conduct and civility.
The governor said the training will underscore that "there's zero room for harassment of any kind in any state government workplace."
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush also announced Thursday that the state's judicial branch has revamped its harassment policies, launched a new online reporting tool and actively is promoting civility as a way to improve the workplace experience.
"The lack of civility in a workplace breeds an environment where sexual harassment can happen," Rush said.