Grantham Names Workplace Study Committee Members
DENVER – Senate President Kevin J. Grantham on Tuesday selected two highly respected colleagues to serve on an interim committee tasked with continuing an ongoing review of workplace harassment policies and procedures at the Statehouse, with an eye toward reviewing and refining reform recommendations for lawmakers to approve when they meet again in January.
Grantham selected Thornton Senator Beth Martinez Humenik and Colorado Springs Senator Bob Gardner, to fill the senate majority’s two committee slots. The remainder of the 6-member panel – formally called the Legislative Workplace Interim Study Committee — will consist of one appointee of Senate Democrats, who are in that chamber’s minority, and three House members, two appointed by majority Democrats and one by minority Republicans.
Both senators will be invaluable assets on the committee, said Grantham, who initiated the ongoing review in late 2017, when cases of alleged misconduct first began surfacing.
Gardner, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, brings a lawyer’s experience and acumen to the work, said Grantham. Martinez Humenik not only will bring a female perspective, said Grantham, but her unique vantage point as a “contact person” under current policy will provide a real-world view of the complaint review process that the committee will benefit from.
“I asked these lawmakers to serve on the interim committee not just because of the unique backgrounds and perspectives they bring to the work, but because I know how personally committed they are to ensuring that the harassment prevention policies we will eventually put in place will serve as a national model that will make Coloradans proud,” said Grantham. “They were the first two names that came to mind to fill these positions. They both deserve a lot of credit for agreeing to take on this big new responsibility, when they both already have plenty on their plates.”
Martinez Humenik said one of her primary goals while serving on the interim committee would be bringing more clarity, transparency and consistency to policies and procedures that some have found confusing. She also believes it’s important to bring more precision to how certain behaviors are defined under Statehouse policy.
“What we learned this past session, unfortunately, is that there’s still too much confusion about the policies and procedures we currently have in place at the Capitol, which can be a deterrent when people are facing the already-daunting question of whether to come forward with a complaint,” said Martinez Humenik. “It is also important to bring more clarity, transparency and precision to how certain behaviors are defined in our code of conduct, since there is a difference between rude or insensitive behavior, workplace harassment, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Bringing more clarity and transparency to the process, and more precision to the terms we use, will be one focus of my work as a committee member.”
Gardner identified rigorous due process protections as one area he’ll be focused on. He also wants the overall anti-harassment standard raised in a way that will create a comfortable and welcoming environment for everyone who works at or does business at the Capitol, whether staff, interns, volunteers, lobbyists, or members of the general public who drop in for a visit.
“My hope is that we adopt a standard that not only fully complies with existing law, but also embraces a higher, aspirational standard for respectful and professional decorum in the Statehouse—a workplace and community that all,” said Gardner.
It’s expected that the Interim Committee will meet at least 5 times between now and the next legislative session. June 1st is the deadline for announcing the names of panel participants.