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Senate passes slate of sexual harassment bills

February 8, 2018

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Senate unanimously passed three bills addressing sexual harassment and assault at workplaces.

The bills passed Thursday include Senate Bill 5996, which prohibits nondisclosure agreements that prevent employees from disclosing sexual harassment or assault. Senate Bill 6471 would direct the Human Rights Commission to create a work group — including representatives from the business community as well as advocates for those affected by sexual harassment — to develop model policies and best practices for employers and employees to keep workplaces safe from sexual harassment. The third measure, Senate Bill 6068, would prevent nondisclosure agreements from affecting the ability to gather information or witness testimony in civil lawsuits related to sexual harassment or assault, and permits the discovery of past instances of sexual harassment or sexual assault in a civil lawsuit regardless of whether or not there was a nondisclosure agreement.

The measures now head to the House for consideration.

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