Federal Manager's Daily Report

A group of three dozen House members has asked the State Department to take actions on its own to carry out proposals directed at sexual harassment and assault at the department that have been proposed as legislation.

The letter says that “given the urgency” of the situation, State should take steps even without waiting for congressional action, including: setting a comprehensive policy regarding harassment, discrimination and assault, and related retaliation of employees who report such conduct; a “robust” definition of harassment; guidance on responsibilities for investigating such complaints and deadlines for completing them; surveys of employees to assess the frequency of such conduct and employees’ comfort with reporting it; and additional training for supervisors, managers and senior leadership.

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They noted that last fall the department’s IG issued a report “highlighting the lack of guidance on the investigative and disciplinary processes for sexual harassment and assault reports; inconsistent coordination among offices; poor data collection, and lack of timeliness standards.”

The House members also urged the department to review its most current data on such incidents and the actions that were taken in response, along with any other steps it decides on its own.

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