Monthly Archives: February 2018

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    Curious about the Legislative Public Records Act? Click here for the full story

Curious about the Legislative Public Records Act? Click here for the full story

February 28th, 2018|

In recent days, the news media has devoted unusually heavy coverage to the Legislative Public Records Act that was passed Friday by the Legislature. Since then, my office has received a high number of calls and emails from constituents asking about this legislation.

The media is in fact the plaintiff in the legal case that led to the court ruling that is the impetus for this bill, and the vast majority of news coverage has emphasized the media’s arguments while minimizing the Legislature’s side of the story. Not surprisingly, puzzled constituents are calling with lots of questions.

To learn more about this legislation and why it is needed, I encourage you to click here to read a summary, in simple but clear lay terms, that answers the most commonly asked questions. I believe this will give you a fuller picture, including a number of perspectives you will not find in news accounts and editorials on this matter. I urge you to weigh all sides and judge for yourself the merits of what this legislation does.

As you know, I hold strong beliefs in transparency and open government.  This bill has been widely misunderstood, so I appreciate this opportunity to clarify the importance and intent of this bill.

Please know that my door is always open to you and I encourage you to please contact my office if you have additional questions.

Sen. Karen Keiser

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    Bills to address sexual harassment pass off Senate floor, now advance to the House

Bills to address sexual harassment pass off Senate floor, now advance to the House

February 8th, 2018|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Feb. 8, 2018

 

Bills to address sexual harassment pass off Senate floor, now advance to the House

 

OLYMPIA — Three bills related to combatting workplace sexual harassment passed off the Senate floor unanimously today.

“I have been working on addressing sexual harassment for quite some time, and passing this group of bills off the floor is great news for the women of Washington,“ said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, sponsor of two of the three bills. “Right now, we are seeing a cultural shift when it comes to what is acceptable in the workplace. Women are demanding a change, and it is incumbent that those with power listen. The fact that these bills were passed unanimously by both Democrats and Republicans shows how seriously the Legislature is taking this issue.”

 

“In recent months, we’ve all been struck by the sheer volume and national discussion of prominent sexual harassment incidents across the country,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, sponsor of Senate Bill 6068. “We have seen that powerful perpetrators and enablers on company boards and other entities have hidden behind non-disclosure agreements to prevent the truth about patterns of behavior from coming out. This bill will lead to more truth and justice for victims.”

 

Brief Summary:

  • Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • Senate Bill 6471 relates to developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.
  • Senate Bill 6068 would shed light on repeat sexual harassers by removing barriers to lawsuits created by non-disclosure agreements.

 

All three bills will now move to the House for further consideration.

 

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For more information or interviews, Keiser: Bre Weider, (360) 786-7326

For more information or interviews, Frockt: Amelia Dickson, (360) 786-7535

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    Bills to address sexual harassment pass out Senate committee

Bills to address sexual harassment pass out Senate committee

February 1st, 2018|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Jan. 31, 2017

 

Bills to address sexual harassment pass out Senate committee

 

OLYMPIA — Three bills related to combatting workplace sexual harassment passed out of the Senate’s Labor & Commerce Committee today.

“I have been working on addressing sexual harassment for quite some time, and passing this group of bills out of committee is great news for the women of Washington,“ said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, chair of the  Senate Labor and Commerce committee. “We heard gut-wrenching testimony in committee from victims explaining the long-term impacts of harassment. It is past time to start addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

“Right now, we are seeing a cultural shift when it comes to what is acceptable in the workplace. Women are demanding a change, and it is incumbent that those with power listen.  These bills will provide a path forward for victims to report complaints without fear of losing their jobs or suffering other forms of retaliation. We must no longer limit the economic and career potential of half of our population. We must demand that our workplace ethos shifts to reflect our values of fairness and respect.”

 

Brief Summary:

  • Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • Senate Bill 6313 addresses mandatory employment contracts and agreements that limit an employee’s right to file a complaint or cause of action for sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • Senate Bill 6471 relates to developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.

 

All three bills passed out of committee, and will now move to the Rules Committee for further consideration before going to the floor.

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For more information or interviews: Bre Weider, (360) 786-7326