JBE 17-30

Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy

WHEREAS,               all persons, whether employees of the government or private industry, deserve a work place free from any form of harassment and discrimination; and

WHEREAS,               harassment and discrimination have no place in the workplace and will not be tolerated by the Governor and the State of Louisiana; and

WHEREAS,               the gravity of allegations of sexual harassment dictate the necessity of a well-defined policy for the executive branch that establishes the behavior that will not be tolerated in the workplace, provides necessary employee training, sets forth the appropriate methods of reporting to ensure the proper investigations are performed, and addresses appropriate actions to be taken upon conclusion of an investigation; and

WHEREAS,              ensuring the sexual harassment and discrimination training, reporting, investigation, and responsive action policies for the executive branch are up-to-date and applied uniformly throughout state government is in the best interests of the State of Louisiana.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1:              Before January 1, 2018, all agencies within the executive branch shall review their own policies relative to sexual harassment and shall submit to the Commissioner of Administration a report regarding such policies.

SECTION 2:              The Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy (hereafter “Task Force”) is established within the executive department, Office of the Governor.

SECTION 3:              The duties of the Task Force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. Review the sexual harassment and discrimination policies of each agency within the executive branch;

B. Research and identify the most effective mode of training to prevent workplace sexual harassment and discrimination and evaluate the effectiveness of the existing video on sexual harassment required to be viewed annually by state employees;

C. Develop a protocol for sexual harassment and discrimination policy orientation for new employees, including participants in any state-sponsored training academy, the completion of which is required for state employment, and for employees promoted to supervisory positions;

D. Research and identify the specific conduct that should be prohibited by the sexual harassment and discrimination policies;

E. Research and identify a clear reporting process to be followed when alleging workplace sexual harassment or discrimination;

F. Research and identify the best method of investigation when there has been an allegation of sexual harassment or discrimination, taking into account the privacy necessary for the parties involved;

G. Research and identify the most appropriate action that should be taken once a sexual harassment or discrimination investigation is complete; and

H. Make specific actionable recommendations for changes to each agency’s sexual harassment and discrimination policies to ensure that there is uniform process among all agencies within the executive branch.

SECTION 4:              On or before March 1, 2018, the Task Force shall submit to the Governor a report regarding the issues set forth in Section 3 of this Order.

SECTION 5:              The Task Force shall be comprised of a maximum of seven (7) members who, unless otherwise specified, shall be designated by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. Ex officio members shall not be counted for purposes of a quorum.

SECTION 6:              There shall be a chair of the Task Force who shall be appointed by the Governor. All other officers, if any, shall be elected by the members of the Task Force.

SECTION 7:              The Task Force shall meet at regularly scheduled intervals and at the call of the chair. The Task Force is encouraged to conduct outreach regionally and by industry as necessary.

SECTION 8:              Task Force members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem from the Office of the Governor for serving on the Task Force.

Task Force members who are an employee or an elected public official of the State of Louisiana or a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana may seek reimbursement of travel expenses, in accordance with PPM 49, from their employing and/or elected department, agency and/or office.

SECTION 9:              Support staff, facilities and resources for the Task Force shall be provided by the Office of the Governor and the Division of Administration.

SECTION 10:            This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until the Task Force has completed the tasks identified in Sections 3 and 4 of this Order, unless amended, modified, terminated or rescinded by the Governor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 6th day of December, 2017.

John Bel Edwards

Tom Schedler
Secretary of State