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LCC Director Greg Hubinger (File photo: Kevin Featherly)
LCC Director Greg Hubinger (File photo: Kevin Featherly)

Bar Buzz: LCC formally bars discrimination

Mirroring efforts by the House and Senate, the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) has adopted a formal anti-discrimination policy for its employees. At the same time, the LCC updated its anti-harassment policy.

The commission is the umbrella organization that oversees and funds various legislative commissions, joint agencies and boards organized under the Legislative Branch. The highest ranking leaders of both houses serve as members of its oversight board.

LCC Director Greg Hubinger said that while there are differences between the LCC’s new policy and those recently adopted by the legislative chambers, they don’t amount to much.

“I would say they’re pretty nuanced,” Hubinger said. “We plagiarized a lot from both of them, so they’re pretty darned close.”

The new policy applies to all employees of joint legislative offices, including the Office of the Legislative Auditor, the Legislature Reference Library and the Revisor of Statutes, among others. It does not apply to employees of either legislative chamber or to elected officials.

The policy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on legally protected characteristics, as defined by federal law and the Minnesota Human Right Act.

Its lead author, Deputy Revisor Sheree Speer, said it replaces the LCC’s former harassment guidelines, which applied only to sexual harassment. “Now it could be racial discrimination,” she said.

It is in effect both inside employees’ work spaces and any other place where bad behavior could affect the work environment, Speer told commission members.

Investigations will be handled discreetly and information about them shared only on a need-to-know basis. Once a complaint has been investigated, the alleged offender and the complainant will get a chance to offer input on possible resolutions.

Both also will be advised of the final outcome, Speer said, “with concern shown for the privacy of both.”

The policy includes a non-exhaustive list of possible remedies ranging from apologies to demotions and dismissals. Retaliation is strictly forbidden and false reports will not be tolerated, Speer said.

The document also tells employees that any party to a complaint may consult with an attorney, but only at his or her own expense.

The commission approved the new policy on Jan. 8 through a unanimous voice vote.

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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