Senator will introduce sexual harassment transparency bill
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Democratic senator in Washington state says she’ll introduce a bill next year for transparency related to sexual harassment or assault claims made at the Capitol.
The tweet from Sen. Karen Keiser on Tuesday came following a story by the Northwest News Network and The News Tribune/Olympian that interviewed women who say they have been subject to sexual harassment at the Legislature.
The House and Senate have routinely declined to turn over legislative records — including calendars, emails and disciplinary reports — arguing that they are not public records. Several news organizations, led by The Associated Press, have sued for access to the records.
Keiser tweeted she’ll push a bill “to exempt sex harassment and assault cases from gag rules and secrecy.” Keiser said later by phone that when it comes to general nondisclosure agreements signed in the private sector, she also wants to allow waivers in cases of sexual harassment and assault.