Vermont Senate Approves Bill Addressing Workplace Sexual Harassment

May 8, 2018

On Monday, the Vermont Senate gave its unanimous approval to legislation that backers hope will significantly reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.

Windham Sen. Becca Balint says the bill eliminates a number of workplace policies that discourage the reporting of sexual harassment. 

"We needed to address the concerns that both women and men have in Vermont in making sure their place of employment is free from sexual harassment," Balint said.

Balint says almost 40 percent of women report being sexually harassed at work and the vast majority experienced retaliation after they filed their complaint.

"Women who are sexually harassed often leave their jobs, frequently taking lower paying work and causing real economic harm to themselves and their families."

The bill also prohibits employers from dismissing an employee once a settlement has been reached in a sexual harassment case.

The bill will come up for final approval in the Senate Tuesday. The measure is similar to legislation passed by the House earlier this session, and Gov. Phil Scott says he strongly supports the proposal.