Montgomery County passes workplace harassment legislation

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County lawmakers are cracking down on harassment and discrimination in the workplace. The County Council voted unanimously to enact Bill 14 – 20 on Tuesday.

Before the bill became law, there was no specific definition of harassment or sexual harassment in the county code. Those looking for justice in sexual harassment cases had to prove that the harassment was “pervasive or severe.”

The lead sponsor of the bill, councilmember Will Jawando explained the change and new legal language during the council’s meeting Tuesday afternoon.

“It allows allegations to move forward and be investigated by our Office of Human Rights if a reasonable victim of discrimination would consider the conduct to be more than a petty slight, trivial inconvenience, or minor annoyance. Simply put, we’re making the workplace more professional, safer, and more welcoming for everybody,” Jawando said.

The council says other states and counties around the country are moving to change their legal language regarding harassment in the workplace.

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