UPDATE: Dane County Board approves training to combat sexual har - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Dane County Board approves training to combat sexual harassment

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- The Dane County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution on January 18 that requires universal sexual harassment training for all county employees and elected officials.

Currently, all full-time county employees receive the training. Going forward, it'll be given to limited-term employees, interns and county board members as well.


MADISON (WKOW) -- With a resolution passing Dane County's Personnel and Finance Committee Monday, workplace sexual harassment training is now just one step away from approval for anyone connected with the Dane County government. 

The resolution solidifies extending the training beyond elected officials to those some would argue are the most vulnerable in the government: limited term employees, interns and young people participating in county initiatives.  

"It's a moving forward opportunity in Dane County," said District 23 Supervisor Shelia Stubbs, the main sponsor of the resolution.  "I think it's going to move forward the conversation, and guess what, we have policy in place in the event something happens, what are next steps because we want people to be safe."

Stubbs added, this resolution was largely in response to sexual harassment that is still evident in the national media, as was seen at the Golden Globes last weekend.  Because of this County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan says it's important the training is available to anyone in a Dane County government workplace. 

"While this resolution applies to our limited term employees and our interns and the county board itself, there is another piece of it, and that is our full time employees," said Corrigan.  Those employees will have web-based training or in-person training.  

"I want a clear transparent message.  This is what we stand for.  And if people vote against it, I question their ethics," said Stubbs.  

Stubbs told 27 News she believes the resolution will pass when it goes in front of the full board January 18.  She added, the funding would come from money already allocated in the budget for training.  


News release

MADISON (WKOW) -- A resolution to provide sexual harassment training for anyone connected with Dane County government is moving forward.

The county’s Personnel and Finance Committee on Monday unanimously approved a resolution to extend sexual harassment training to all Dane County limited-term employees, interns, and youth who participate in county initiatives, according to a news release from the county board chair's office. 

Also, the resolution requires that all newly-elected County Board Supervisors receive harassment training as part of their orientation.

“Given recent national news of harassment and abuse by those in entertainment, the media and in Congress it is imperative the county take every step necessary to both inform and protect its employees and others who work in county government,” said Supervisor Shelia Stubbs the main sponsor of the resolution.

The Dane County Code of Ordinances already specifies it is the duty of every manager to ensure that all employees under their supervision work in an environment free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined in the ordinance as “sexual advances, physical contact or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee's work performance or of creating an intimidating, coercive, hostile, or offensive environment.”

Recently, the county Department of Administration required all employees to complete a web-based training in workplace harassment. Managers and supervisors will also complete a mandatory in-person training session later this month.  

The resolution under consideration by the County Board recognizes that the county does not routinely provide training for some of its potentially most vulnerable personnel: limited term employees, interns, youth governance program participants, and the youth who have internships with the county through the Operation Fresh Start, Boys and Girls Club and the Simpson Street Free Press. Further, there is no formal training in sexual harassment for elected officials, including members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors. 

The resolution requires limited term employees and interns to receive the same training as regular employees, and charges the Tamara D. Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion with developing and delivering training for youth involved with county programs.  

County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan noted that, in the past, there has been no formal training in sexual harassment for elected officials, including members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors.

“We must do everything possible to maintain respect in the workplace whether for part-timers, interns or members of our board,” she said.

Training of current members of the Board is being scheduled and will be a component of orientation for new supervisors.

The sexual harassment training resolution will go before the full Dane County Board at its first regular meeting of 2018 scheduled for Thursday, January 18th.

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