Senate Candidate Julie Killian Backs Comprehensive Response to Sexual Harassment in Workplace
New York State Senate candidate Julie Killian today praised legislation introduced last week and passed yesterday in the State Senate that represents the most comprehensive response yet to sexual harassment in the workplace. She also slammed Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer for publicly defending corrupt former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s use of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment complaints.
The bill (S7848A), sponsored by Senator Catharine Young, Senator Elaine Phillips, Senator Terrence Murphy, members of the Senate Republican Women’s Caucus, and others, would prevent individuals from engaging in misconduct that creates a hostile work environment in either the public or private sectors, and encourage victims to come forward.
"I strongly support the comprehensive sexual harassment legislation that was passed today by the New York State Senate," Killian said. "This is a bipartisan issue, and the most comprehensive response yet to sexual harassment in the workplace in the public and private sectors."
"This legislation builds on what was proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and will ensure that all employees throughout New York are provided with the safe work environment they deserve," Killian said. "Given the fact that the state has spent more than $11 million in public money to settle sexual harassment claims, this legislative response is essential to protect hardworking taxpayers."
The major reforms passed yesterday include: establishing a statutory definition of sexual harassment; prohibiting the anonymity of the accused in court-approved settlements and banning mandatory sexual harassment arbitration clauses; prohibiting confidentiality agreements unless the victim requests confidentiality; expanding protections to independent contractors; creating uniform policies for all branches of state and local government; and protecting hardworking taxpayers from paying for public sector harassment settlements.
"Unfortunately, my opponent, Shelley Mayer, publicly defended corrupt former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s use of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment complaints against former Brooklyn Assemblyman and political boss Vito Lopez," Killian said. "It is deeply disturbing that Assemblywoman Mayer would support the use of public funds to cover up the pattern of harassment and sexual abuse perpetrated by an elected official and silence his victims."
"Shelley Mayer’s, or anyone’s, role enabling the quieting of victims of sexual harassment is unconscionable and should not be tolerated," Killian said. "This behavior will not stop until the enabling stops."
Killian will run on the Republican, Conservative and Reform Party lines in the Special Election for New York State Senate District 37 on April 24th. Senate District 37 includes the towns and municipalities of: Armonk, Bedford, Bronxville, Crestwood, Eastchester, Harrison, Katonah, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, North Castle, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye City, Rye Brook, Tuckahoe, White Plains and Yonkers.