Sexual Harassment Audit: Louisiana Spent More Than $5 Million On Claims In 9-Year Period
The state’s legislative auditor has completed a sexual harassment survey of thousands of state workers and concluded that the state should do a better job of educating its workers on the issue. Auditor Daryl Purpera says the state spent more than five million dollars on sexual harassment claims over the past 9 years. He says there is no clear cut process on what to do.
“Providing a process, instructing people on noticing, identifying, reporting sexual harassment and is there a standard process on how they handle those claims,” says Purpera.
The audit was triggered by the resignation of one of Governor John Bel Edwards top aide’s over accusations of sexual harassment. Purpera adds without a standard procedure the issue may continue.
“And then training, were giving our employees a process on how to identify and what to do who to go talk to, how to report it. And then for those entities, what do you do with that report.” Says Purpera.
Purpera admits the state’s employee base is very diverse and a sexual harassment policy would have to be custom fit for some of the different agencies.
“So were not saying everyone has to have the same words, but we do believe there are best practices. There are some key things that all agencies should have,” says Purpera.
“Of the responses we did get there was a considerable amount that said they had either witnessed it or were a party to it. A good number said they didn’t report it for various reasons,” added purpera.
The audit findings came largely from the Office of Risk Management.