Bill seeks to reduce sexual harassment in the workplace

Proposal gives the attorney general the ability to investigate suspected repeat offenders

BOSTON (WWLP)—The “Me Too” movement is sparking state governments across the nation to take action against sexual harassment. Massachusetts lawmakers hope to reduce instances of sexual harassment in the workplace through a bill filed by Majority Leader Cynthia Creem, (D) Newton.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal but instances often never get reported and some offenders escape detection through confidentiality agreements. Creem said the legislation aims to ensure repeat harassers can not hide behind confidentiality agreements.

“Many people find that if they do come forward, they’re not believed, they’re ridiculed, their potential for future employment becomes reduced,” State Rep. Kenneth Gordon, (D) Bedford, said.

Some lawmakers are calling on the state to make it easier for victims to come forward.

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would give the attorney general the ability to investigate suspected repeat offenders. Creem said the bill would require the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination to notify the attorney general if an individual or entity receives two findings of probable cause in five years or three times in seven years.

“Many of my colleagues and friends have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination in both their personal and professional lives so I’m here to say this has to end, this has to stop,” Creem said.

Creem said victims can still choose to remain anonymous under the bill.

The committee will review testimony on the bill before making recommendations.