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Give Harassment Victims Access to Justice

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Give Harassment Victims Access to Justice

"Sexual harassment occurs beyond the entertainment industry, and affects business, politics, and education.  It occurs in a variety of situations and involves unwanted advances or (obscene) remarks.

It is a widespread problem. Multiple harassment cases are being reported.  And state government is no different. In January, Minnesota Management and Budget released information that it received 135 substantiated complaints of sexual harassment between 2012-17, and $709,500 in settlements for seven sexual harassment cases had been paid by the state.

The Minnesota State Legislature has been no different, with two recent resignations for harassment charges.

Minnesota state senator Carla Nelson recently introduced a bill, SF 2491, that would make the harasser pay rather than the state. Senator Nelson is trying to do something to see that someone in a position of public trust will pay — or, is held responsible.  What could be possibly wrong with this bill?

One answer to that could be simply this: Should the victim be limited to the harasser’s ability to pay, when the harasser had power due to his or her election?  It seems quite possible that limiting the victim to suing the harasser will result in smaller settlements than if the victim can be paid from public funds..."

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