In the last year, brave women and men have come forward to share stories of how they've endured everything from hostile work environments to sexual harassment to outright sexual assault. These incidents unveil years of mistreatment towards women and men in the movie industry, in journalism, in sports, and in politics, but sexual harassment and misconduct isn’t just prevalent in high-profile industries. Regular Nevadans from office managers to service industry employees are also vulnerable to mistreatment, and they deserve a champion in their corner too. Aaron will continue sending the clear and consistent message that workplace sexual harassment and misconduct has no place in Nevada, and will not be tolerated on his watch.
I. Create Gold Standard of Prevention Strategies, Training Programs, and Resources for Private Sector Employers
The Nevada Attorney General’s office should take the lead on ensuring that employers have all the tools, training and informational resources necessary to prevent and combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Aaron will work with stakeholders, including private sector employees and employers, industry experts, victims advocates, human resource specialists and local law enforcement, to develop a new gold standard of sexual harassment policies, procedures, and trainings for workers and businesses of all sizes throughout Nevada. Once developed, Aaron will make these resources and training opportunities available to every Nevada business, and if they complete the program, reward them with recognition.
The Nevada Gold Standard Sexual Harassment Prevention & Accountability Program should include the following:
- Training employers on how to create an environment where harassment is not tolerated.
- Encouraging private sector employers to participate in organizational climate surveys to help determine whether harassment is a problem within their organization, and whether employees feel comfortable reporting.
- Helping employers establish a safe and effective reporting structure, including making sure employers are using written reports to avoid situations where supervisors “look the other way” instead of dealing with repeat offenders.
- Assisting employers in establishing a workplace investigation system so employees trust that allegations will be handled fairly, confidentially and promptly.
- Helping employers enforce policies against retaliation, and implement strong disciplinary actions for harassers.
- Aiding employers in reviewing and updating the effectiveness of their sexual harassment training programs.
- Encourage industry-specific approaches to help protect workers. For example, Aaron applauds the hotel and gaming corporations in Las Vegas who are working with the Culinary Union to ensure housekeepers have access to safety buttons.
II. Create Gold Standard Sexual Harassment Policy for Nevada Public Officials & Employees
Aaron will ensure the State of Nevada has effective policies, procedures and trainings to deter sexual misconduct, encourage those with allegations to come forward and fairly and swiftly investigate allegations. As Attorney General, Aaron will oversee the review of sexual harassment policies and how they are implemented in every State of Nevada agency and department. Too many of our state agencies’ procedures are outdated, and it’s past time for the state to review its policies.
III. “Know Your Rights” Program for Nevada Workers
Every Nevada worker deserves to know and understand the laws that are in place to protect them from workplace sexual harassment. As Attorney General, he will work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, and other agencies, to host Know Your Rights workshops across the state, ensure the most updated laws, protections and reporting resources are posted in an easy-to-locate area online, and encourage employers to train their employees on their rights.
In addition, victims of sexual harassment will have advocates in the AG's office that they can connect with for resources and assistance. Aaron believes no one should have to navigate this process alone, and he will always be in your corner.
IV. No One is Above the Law: Same Rules & Consequences for Everyone
The days where those in positions of power can take advantage of subordinates are over. Aaron will work with businesses and organizations to help foster work environments where high-ranking employees are dealt with in the same manner as any other employee if they harass or assault someone. No one -- no matter how powerful -- is above the law, and every Nevadan should feel safe at work.
V. No Taxpayer-Funded Representation For Public Officials Who Sexually Harass or Assault Someone
Sexual harassment is not and never will be part of the job description of any elected official or state employee. On Aaron’s watch as AG, if an investigation finds that allegations of sexual harassment made against a Nevada state employee or elected official are legitimate, the taxpayers of Nevada will not foot the bill to defend their predatory actions.
VI. Mandatory Arbitration Should End
Aaron encourages Congress to end mandatory arbitration, which is used by employers to forbid employees from speaking out about sexual harassment and assault. He believes all victims of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace should have full access to the judicial system.