Sexual harassment claims could end House intern program

2 years 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, February 07 2018 Feb 7, 2018 Wednesday, February 07, 2018 11:14:00 AM CST February 07, 2018 in News
By: Jalyn Henderson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri lawmaker wants the House to suspend its intern program and strengthen its sexual harassment policies.

Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis, a Democrats from Ferguson, said the House culture hasn't improved enough since former House Speaker John Diehl, Jr. resigned in May 2015 after admitting to sending sexually suggestive text messages to an intern.

Curtis originally made the request to suspend the program in December. But he didn't get any direct responses from the House chief clerk, so he decided to make his claim public.

"We've given the House all the time in the world and opportunity to deliberate over the situation and see if that made sense," Curtis said. "If anything happens I would say that the person who would have to take responsibility would be the chief clerk."

KOMU 8 News did not speak to House Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss Wednesday, but he told the Associated Press Monday that ending the program would be detrimental to students and detrimental to the global discussion about sexual harassment.

Since 2015, there have been six formal sexual harassment claims filed. At least four of them had outside attorneys hired to investigate. The results of the investigations have not been made public.

The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Sexual Violence defines sexual harassment as a sexual form of discrimination that's unwelcome, severe and pervasive.

"Sexual harassment can occur anywhere, in any environment," the coalition's public relations director, Matt Huffman, said. "Sexual harassment is strikingly underreported in workplaces, so we know that it occurs, we know the people are experiencing it on a daily basis."

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission there are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo is when a manager or other authority figure offers an employee and incentive, like a raise, in return for a sexual act. A hostile work environment occurs when an employee receives unwelcome advances, sexual innuendos, or offensive gender-related language.

In 2017, the Association of Women for Action and Research reported that 17 percent of employees were harassed by their superior. They found 79 percent of sexually harassed employees were women, and 21 percent were men. 

"Women overwhelmingly experience sexual harassment, but we know that regardless of gender, anyone can experience sexual harassment," Huffman said.

Curtis said he hasn't witnessed an inappropriate behavior between legislators and their interns, but he said they all have different relationships with one another. He has two House interns of his own, who work independently on various projects.

"With the interns, to allow them to be in this capitol, we need to take that extra step to protect them because if they're harmed today that sticks with them, potentially for life," Curtis said.

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - Multiple law enforcement agencies have been conducting an investigation on scene in west Columbia. Public Information... More >>
40 minutes ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 6:06:00 AM CST February 20, 2020 in News
LAS VEGAS — The latest on the 2020 presidential campaign and Democratic debate 6 p.m. Six Democratic... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 8:07:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD- A retired Catholic priest has been charged in Missouri with multiple counts of child sexual abuse stemming from... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 7:54:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - While the snow disappears with warmer weather, potholes are opening in roads around mid-Missouri. Street division employees... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 5:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Joseph Elledge, the husband of missing Columbia woman Mengqi Ji Elledge, has been charged with first-degree murder,... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A U.S. Army Veteran is passing through Jefferson City on Thursday as part of his effort to... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:37:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - After the Landmark Bank and Simmons First National merger on February 18, residents in Ashland are seeing some... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:16:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Clean Missouri was approved by 62% of Missourians in 2018. Now, some Missouri lawmakers want to reverse... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:19:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A public defender representing a Columbia man who plotted a terrorist attack has asked for a 15-year sentence.... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – People from all around Missouri and lawmakers packed into a hearing room in the Missouri Capitol Wednesday... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:22:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia parents and candidates for the Columbia Board of Education met Wednesday to discuss special education. This... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:04:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State lawmakers on the House Elections and Elected Officials committee heard testimony on a bill that could... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Fulton man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2018 Columbia homicide. 30-year-old... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:23:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
FULTON - The State Technical College of Missouri is partnering with the Callaway Chamber of Commerce to provide the MoAMP... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:55:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced his candidacy to keep the seat Wednesday. Schmitt was appointed... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:13:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
Loxahatchee, FL – According to the national institute of mental health, nearly one in five people in the United States... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:20:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The man suspected of shooting an off-duty police officer at a Walmart store in the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 8:53:16 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Missouri advocacy group will show up in numbers to support its cause on Wednesday. Decoding... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 22°
7am 22°
8am 22°
9am 23°
10am 24°