Democrats seek debate on legislature’s sex harassment bill

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democrats are trying to revive legislation this year to create an updated process to investigate sexual harassment claims involving North Carolina legislators and General Assembly workers.

Sen. Erica Smith of Northampton County is attempting a parliamentary maneuver to move a bill she sponsored and is sitting in a committee to the Senate floor. She’ll need the signatures of several Republicans to do it in the coming days.

Smith said at a Legislative Building news conference on Wednesday that the current anti-harassment policy is flawed and the process for adjudicating claims doesn’t serve victims well.

The bill would set clear sanctions for sexual harassment and misconduct, develop a confidential filing process and direct an outside party to be hired to help with investigations. She says the proposal promotes equity, protection, and opportunity.

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