Philly City Council approves workplace sexual harassment bill on International Women’s Day

If voters give the go-ahead, training will be required for all city employees.

City Council voted to pass a bill mandating sexual harassment training for city employees.

City Council voted to pass a bill mandating sexual harassment training for city employees.

Cherelle Parker / Twitter
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City Council voted to pass a new bill that would mandate sexual harassment training for all City of Philadelphia employees on Thursday afternoon, per a tweet from District 9 Councilwoman Cherelle Parker.

Next, the bill will seek endorsement from Philly voters, who will be asked to approve amending the City Charter to reflect the new policy during the general primary election on May 15.

The bill was first introduced in December 2017, jointly sponsored by all the women on City Council:

  • Cherelle Parker (District 9)
  • Blondell Reynolds Brown (at large)
  • Jannie L. Blackwell (District 3)
  • Maria Quiñones-Sánchez (District 7)
  • Cindy Bass (District 8)
  • Helen Gym (at large)

If passed, the bill would be incorporated into the city’s existing policies on preventing workplace sexual harassment, which define sexual misconduct as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or verbal or physical acts of a sexual nature.”

Currently, city employees only receive sexual harassment training if their department supervisor deems it necessary. The existing policy states:

“Employees, who…would benefit from sexual harassment prevention training can be scheduled to receive prevention training from the Personnel Department, at the Training and Development Center, or upon request, in a group setting on site.”

The existing policies also provide procedures for reporting, investigating and resolving complaints.

Notably, the bill officially passed through City Council on International Women’s Day, meant to celebrate women and girls around the world.