Over the past several weeks, a wave of sexual harassment claims have swept the nation and heightened awareness to address these issues. Today, the Board of Supervisors heard a report from the County Equity Oversight Panel (“CEOP”), County Counsel, and the County Department of Human Resources on LA County’s sexual harassment procedures. This report followed a motion last week authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to examine current practices.
“LA County recognizes the importance of equity, safety, and respect in the workplace,” said Supervisor Solis. “Thank you to CEOP for today’s report; next week I will be presenting a motion to implement their recommendations. I am confident that the Board of Supervisors will build upon our workplace culture of respect and fair treatment to make our sexual harassment policies stronger and more transparent for all employees.”
“This report affirms that the County has put strong procedures in place to address complaints,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “Every policy needs improvement, however, and we will take note of the recommended modifications to make certain that LA remains at the forefront of ensuring a safe and respectful work culture for everyone.”
The CEOP reported that the County Policy of Equity is proactive, provides for an independent review by legal experts, checks and balances, includes an Inappropriate Conduct Towards Others (ICTO) Standard, requires supervisors and managers to report sexual harassment, and has no barriers to reporting. Reports of sexual harassment by employees and contractors can be made online, by phone, fax, email, mail, and in-person.
According to the CEOP, current policies enable positive culture change, promotes equity and inclusion while preserving dignity and professionalism in the workplace, and allows for early intervention.
The CEOP made five recommendations, including:
- Additional permanent staff and resources to accommodate potential integration of quasi-County entities
- Enhanced marketing campaign
- Augmented technology resources (including online filing)
- Evaluate County contactor processes as it relates to the Policy of Equity
- Ensure compliance with regular mandatory training