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City Council Members Propose Routine Anti-Harassment Training For City Employees

Addie Lancianese
90.5 WESA
Councilman Bruce Kraus adresses the crowd regarding his proposed anti-harassment training legislation on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

From elected officials to interns, City of Pittsburgh employees would be required to undergo yearly anti-harassment training under legislation proposed Tuesday by three City Council members. 

Councilman Bruce Kraus, the lead sponsor, said his proposal is a direct response to the "Me, Too" movement and national conversation around workplace sexual harassment.

"Please do not be misled that there haven't been policies and procedures in place," Kraus said. "This really is about a national movement and a shift in mindset and culture."

Currently, municipal workers receive anti-harassment training at new hire orientation. In 2016, the city employed more than 3,300 people

The city's Department of Human Resources is looking into curriculums for the training, which will help it develop and instate a universal policy. Department supervisors will likely receive training to give the anti-harassment education to their subordinates, according to Kraus.

Human Resources Director Janet Manuel said her office has investigated nine cases of harassment in the last five years.

"We hope that by implementing these respective ordinances, employees of the city understand the message that is being given," Manuel said. "Action will be taken against them if they violate the policies."

Councilman Corey O'Connor is introducing an adjacent piece of legislation to Council that would limit the use of nondisclosure agreements to those requested by victims.