On his first day in office, Gov. Brian Kemp issued a sweeping executive order that gives the Office of the Inspector General independent oversight over sexual harassment investigations in state agencies
The order will also require sexual harassment prevention training for state employees, supervisors and managers.
“The State of Georgia does not tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace,” the order reads, “and the State of Georgia is committed to providing a harassment free workplace and environment for its employees and all citizens who interact with state government.”
According to Kemp’s order, when an agency receives a complaint they’ll report it to the inspector general who will then determine whether it can be handled impartially by the agency, or whether an independent investigator should be appointed.
Two people of different genders will be appointed by each agency to investigate sexual harassment complaints. The people appointed will receive special training.
In September 2018, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the state’s response to sexual harassment made reporting incidents risky. And the AJC found policies for dealing with sexual harassment were inconsistent across state agencies.
Kemp’s order tasks his legal team, and the Department of Administrative Services, with developing a “uniform sexual harassment prevention policy that shall apply to all Executive Branch agencies.”
“Such policy,” the order reads, “shall also specifically prohibit retaliation against any person who has reported or participated in the investigation of possible sexual harassment.”