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Politics

Et Tu, Latvala? Rick Scott Issues Executive Order to Combat Sexual Harassment in State Agencies

December 13, 2017 - 11:45am
Rick Scott
Rick Scott

The halls of Tallahassee will no longer be a place where sexual harassment thrives -- at least that’s the goal of Gov. Rick Scott’s latest executive order to combat harassment in the workplace.

On Wednesday, Scott made it clear state agencies would be cracking down on sexual harassment, issuing an executive order to fight back against the problem sweeping the nation, including the Sunshine State.
 
Executive Order 17-319 would implement several measures aimed at lessening incidents of sexual harassment in state agencies. 
 
As part of the order, state agencies would be required to provide sexual harassment training for employees no later than 30 days after beginning employment, but higher-up employees -- like managers or supervisors -- would also be required to have additional sexual harassment training.
 
Investigations into complaints of sexual harassment would be completed by employees other than supervisors and each agency is instructed to take every action to ensure complainants and the accused don’t have further contact. 
 
Scott’s new executive order is in addition to HB 397 proposed and signed by Governor Scott in June, which creates a public records exemption for identifying information of state employees who file sexual harassment complaints. 
 
The news comes on the heels of a contentious month in Tallahassee, where one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers -- former Senate budget chief Jack Latvala -- has been accused by six different women and Senate staffers of making inappropriate sexual comments and of groping them.
 
Latvala denies the allegations, saying the entire list of accusations is merely a political strategy to burn his ambitions to the ground. He has spent the last few weeks launching an aggressive counteroffensive against the claims, specifically targeting top Senate aide Rachel Perrin Rogers, who went public with her allegations last month.
 
The Senate launched an investigation into the allegations, which should be wrapped up any day.
 
People like Scott, however, say they view Latvala’s behavior as a “distraction” in Tallahassee
 
Though Scott didn’t name Latvala in his statement the timing of the executive order doesn’t seem coincidental. 
 
Scott slammed the widespread allegations of sexual harassment Wednesday, saying state government and Florida “cannot tolerate” harassment at all. 
 
“It is absolutely disgusting to hear about the numerous accounts of sexual harassment happening across the country,” he said. “Everyone deserves to work in an environment that is safe and free from any form of harassment.”
 
Other lawmakers have chimed in on the issue, taking a stand against sexual harassment rocking the workplace nationwide. 
 
“We are here to say that you are not to blame,” said Sens. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, and Lauren Book, D-Plantation, in a statement last month. “As long as we are here, you will be heard, and we will do all that we can to help...We understand what it means to be victimized, demoralized, and silenced in the face of sexual assault. We stand with you because we all deserve to feel safe and to be safe. Be strong. Be brave.”
 
Scott also addressed potential victims of sexual harassment, reassuring them he was on their side in their fight for decency and respect. 
 
“In Florida, we stand with victims and against those who mistreat others,” he said. 

 

To view the executive order, click here.

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS
 
 

Comments

TRAINING is a GREAT first step in this process. What would you have him do? Put Cameras everywhere a Woman could be approached? If YOU'VE got a better idea, LET'S HEAR IT! Florida IS a "business" place, and Scott has proven he is a great Governor!

What a crock of steaming horse manure. While I am not implying that sexual pestering is cool, it is also not the problem that the wacko fringe are trying to make it. As far as the Health Care Fraud King, this is almost as good as the hurricane was. Just surprised he is not on board to say ya'll need to give up eating dogs and cats. Probably the team of sex offenders that led the league in hitting are John Kennedy, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Voted most valuable player has to be Ted Kennedy who actually killed Mary Joe, covered it up with 8 feet of water and went back to that most august body of perverts, pedophiles, thieves, alcoholics and drug addicts known as Congress. If a guy is really bothering a woman I suspect a phone call to the miscreants wife put an end to it.

SO FAR,... Ted Kennedy still "Holds the Record" for "The ONLY "confirmed-kill" in the "War on Women".

Great job Governor Scott. Hopefully, that lois frankel and kristy “USSR” gillyland will follow your lead and help eradicate abortion from the purview (and pocketbooks of taxpayers). Mistreatment and harassment others has no place in a civilized society. Some say the stories of alleged, but unknown and unnamed, accusers of sexual harrassment are “HEARTBREAKING”. Curiously, how many of these same women had abortions? They claim their stories about sexual harrassment are heartbreaking and they want a “reckoning” Yet, they cannot abolish abortion? Sexual inuendo versus preventing an innocent heartbeat from beating. Hopefully, hypocrisy will harrass Roe v Wade out of our free society courtesy of intellectual honesty.

It is all just lip service and a PR stunt for more attention. Everything that he put in his EO is already in state rule or law, almost verbatim...vote grab.

Well, THIS suddenly "come to light MASS ('me too') action" appears to be the ONLY plausible and expeditious method to "crack" or break through the imagined "glass ceiling" that has come along to aid the heretofore decades old ("dead", and found to be largely unnecessary) "feminist movement". ANY "action" lacking evidence or documentation resulting in a punitive reaction of ANY sort (legal or otherwise), will undoubtedly result in costly litigation to restore reputations and losses, and assign penalty, where it rightly belongs... Welcome to the era of the "Salem Witch Trials"... (Shall we bring back the "dunking stool"?)

The Governor's Order ONLY applies to State EMPLOYEES! And it is for TRAINING and creating yet another public records exemption. The legislature is not impacted. Latvala and the other sexually adventurous members of our legislature are still running loose. FEDERAL LAWS which are on the books can work IF people step forward and organizations ENFORCE the laws including the laws which protect the people leveling the accusations. (I don't say victims because that implies the accusations are the proven truth, when they are ACCUSATIONS.) I spent 30+ years in government service and one municipal government had training every 24 months on a Hostile Workplace and Sexual Harassment. It was part of their ongoing training for staff ... ALL of the STAFF. That didn't stop things from happening, but people that felt they were in an uncomfortable place were more willing to speak with management personnel about it.

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