Minnesota House survey reveals sex harassment concerns at Capitol

The full House Chamber.
About 20 percent of state House members who responded to the survey said they've been the victim or witness of sexual harassment.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2017

Results of a recent survey on sexual harassment at Minnesota's Capitol show one in five respondents had experienced or witnessed it.

The anonymous survey was conducted in October and was completed by about 230 House members and staff. Fewer than half of House members completed the survey. But of those who did, 20 percent said they've been the victim or witness of sexual harassment. That was about the same rate as staff.

The House Task Force on Workplace Safety and Respect is expected to discuss the findings Friday.

The survey information comes a year after two legislators — Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, and Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park — resigned amid sexual harassment complaints.

House members went through a refresher course last year on harassment and bias, and more training is scheduled for next month. People who took the survey were almost universally familiar with the House policy against discrimination and harassment, and they knew how to report possible violations.

The Senate did not conduct a similar survey.

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