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Monrovia State Senator Wants Whistleblower Protection to Apply to Legislative Staff Members

Monrovia's State Senator, Anthony Portantino, thinks some women on legislative staffs in Sacramento have legitimate complaints about abuse and intimidation and thinks whistleblower protection would help. He writes:

"Recently, the legislature has been facing legitimate complaints and serious accusations from women within and outside the capitol workforce. As the father of two daughters, spouse of a working professional and a person who has consistently helped place communities of our district in the hands of extremely talented women I continue to believe a significant barrier to just outcomes and workplace security has been the lack of whistleblower protection for legislative staff. You might be surprised to learn that although whistleblower protection is California law it does not apply to the state legislature and most importantly our staff is not protected against reprisal for shining the light on inappropriate behavior or criminal activity. I first learned of this discrepancy in 2011 and I authored a bill to extend this protection to legislative staff then and again in 2012. Both bills were killed. Upon being elected to the State Senate, I supported a third bi-partisan attempt to make this prudent change to how business is conducted in the state capitol. Everyone who works in Sacramento should have the confidence to bring complaints and observations of wrongdoing forward without fear of retribution.

"There are many good people working to figure out prudent and effective next steps to protect women in the capitol from abuse and intimidation. Immediately extending whistleblower protection is a necessary and easy first step. It is my intention to once again bring it forward in January when we return to regular legislative business."

Source: Portantino letter.

Comment: Noooo, actually it does not surprise me at all that whistleblower protection does not apply to the state legislative staff members.

- Brad Haugaard

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