AG Hawley to Work with Women’s Foundation in Combatting Harassment and Discrimination in Missouri State Government

Feb 20, 2018, 14:00 PM
Feb 20, 2018, 13:53 PM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today announced his Office will partner with the Women’s Foundation in conducting a comprehensive review of existing discrimination and harassment policies across state government. Attorney General Hawley highlighted the need for decisive action on these issues in the first-ever annual Legal Expense Fund (“LEF”) report his office issued in January. The annual report recognized that discrimination and harassment claims against the State impose a substantial burden on taxpayers and reflect a deep-seated culture of discrimination and retaliation throughout state government.  

In the annual LEF report, Attorney General Hawley proposed several initiatives to address these issues. Among those proposals, the Attorney General committed to conduct a comprehensive review of existing discrimination and harassment policies across state government. As part of this effort, the Office will identify best practices based on successful approaches taken in the public and private sectors, and it will use these best practices to provide candid feedback to government entities regarding their existing polices.

The Attorney General’s Office and the Women’s Foundation jointly issued a set of general principles that will help guide this statewide review. These guideposts draw on the Women’s Foundation’s past experience advising government entities on discrimination and sexual harassment best practices. Most recently, the Women’s Foundation worked closely with the Kansas Legislature to enact strengthened sexual harassment policies.

“There is no place for discrimination or harassment of any kind—anywhere,” Hawley said. “I am grateful to the Women’s Foundation for offering their insight into these tough issues. And I look forward to working with them to improve the work climate throughout state government.”

“Every instance of sexual harassment is a barrier to women’s political and professional advancement,” Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation, said. “As an organization that is dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership positions, we’ve seen first-hand how sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation can deter women from civic engagement. We look forward to continuing to be a resource for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the Missouri General Assembly and all public officials working to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in state government.”