Legislators approve new harassment policy ahead of 2019 session

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BISMARCK, N.D. - When legislators come back to Bismarck in January, they'll have a new workplace harassment policy, one that creates a clear process of how to file and what happens if a person violates the policy.

If a legislator is accused of a violation, a review panel will investigate the allegations within 25 days, but do have the ability to extend up to 75 days. The policy applies to legislators, employees and third party members, including media. A person found guilty can be suspended, fired and even prosecuted.

“It's good preventative medicine. Hopefully it's a deterrent so that people understand it will not be tolerated in the legislature. If it does, there will be consequences,” said Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo.

The records of a complaint are confidential until the investigation is complete or 75 days after the date the complaint was made.