ND lawmakers review sexual harassment policies

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BISMARCK, N.D. - With all the recent revelations of sexual harassment by people in authority, state lawmakers are taking a look at the policies they have in place.

Some of those policies are decades old and are in need of a rewrite in light of today's political climate.

Law makers say their current policy has a good definition of what types of behavior are inappropriate, but no clear process of what to do if violations take place.

"I think it's very important with what's gone on in the media that we review our policy and make sure it's up to date and that there's no question in people's mind about what the rules are when you are an elected official in our chambers," said House Majority Leader Rep. Al Carlson.

Legislators are looking to change the rules regarding sexual harassment inside this building, even though Carlson says he's never seen any issues.

"I've been here 26 years, and I'm not aware of anybody walking to my office or anybody's office saying I've been harassed by so and so. But that doesn't mean it hasn't happened; I don't think that it has," said Carlson.

But other law makers say it is a problem in the Capitol.

"Some of them involved inappropriate touching and inappropriate requests to go on dates, and feeling pressured by their positions. Some were interns, one was an intern, one was a secretary, one was a lobbyist. All of them had, they were women who were afraid," said Rep. Kathy Hogan, D-Fargo.

And Hogan has had her own issues with harassment.

"I've had elected officials tell totally inappropriate jokes, which I've confronted. I mean I've had a number of situations where people have hugged me really inappropriately," said Hogan.

The committee will receive a draft of potential changes to the policy at their next scheduled meeting.