Philadelphia – April 5, 2018 – State Senator Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) released the following statement in support of Governor Wolf and fellow legislators to address sexual harassment:

“We need to put more power into the hands of the victims,” Senator Haywood said. “A friend told me that we have a long way to go and we must keep going.  We are engaged in a cultural shift toward the protection of women.  That change must include more power to women.”

Governor Wolf and legislators held a press conference on Temple University’s campus this afternoon in support of proposed legislation combatting sexual harassment in the workplace. “Their [victims] bravery shines a light on a reprehensible practice that has been allowed for too long to go on, often behind closed doors away from public view. I want to thank those who have come forward because when these horrible acts are allowed to occur without any consequences, change is incredibly hard and the cycle of abuse will only continue” said Governor Wolf.

Senator Haywood has proposed legislation that is part of a multi-bill package.  It will ensure protection to whistleblowers to avoid arbitration by providing them a right to a jury trial. The legislation would also extend the deadline to pursue a claim up to two years instead of the current six months. Finally, a successful whistleblower would be able to recover punitive damages for any unlawful, malicious, or reckless acts of retaliation or discrimination.  “These employee-first protections will serve to support and protect public and publicly funded employees who come forward to report workplace misconduct. Now is the time to turn this momentum into action to foster safe, equitable, and accountable workplaces where jobs and promotions are not leveraged for sexual favors or people are shamed for their background or identity.” said Haywood.