Lawmakers pass bill to make state officials pay a share of their sexual harassment settlements

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(6/6/19) BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana officials could be forced to pay a share of their sexual harassment settlements, rather than letting taxpayers cover the full cost, under a bill heading to the governor’s desk.

The measure by Republican Sen. Sharon Hewitt provides a legal framework for recovering money if a sexual harassment claim against a state employee is deemed valid, with paths for collecting reimbursement.

A final bill version went to the governor’s desk Thursday, after receiving a 97-0 House vote and 38-0 Senate vote.

A legislative audit in April 2018 showed Louisiana has spent more than $5 million on lawsuits involving sexual harassment claims since 2009.

Lawmakers this session also barred state employees from reaching sexual harassment settlements that include nondisclosure clauses, if the deal involves public funds.

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