Bill Text: FL S0240 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Sexual Harassment

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-22 - Referred to Ethics and Elections; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Rules [S0240 Detail]

Download: Florida-2019-S0240-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 240
       
       
        
       By Senator Book
       
       
       
       
       
       32-00512-19                                            2019240__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to sexual harassment; creating s.
    3         11.9006, F.S.; creating the Task Force on the
    4         Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct;
    5         requiring that the task force meet by a specified
    6         date; providing for the staffing and the composition
    7         of the task force; prescribing duties of and
    8         requirements for the task force; requiring the task
    9         force to report its findings and recommendations to
   10         the Governor and the Legislature before a specified
   11         date; authorizing reimbursement for per diem and
   12         travel expenses; creating s. 112.3126, F.S.; providing
   13         definitions; prohibiting public officers, qualified
   14         candidates, agency employees, and lobbyists from
   15         sexually harassing any person; providing for
   16         construction; reenacting and amending s. 112.317,
   17         F.S., relating to penalties for violations of the Code
   18         of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees; providing
   19         penalties for lobbyists who violate the prohibition
   20         against sexual harassment; amending s. 112.324, F.S.;
   21         requiring the Commission on Ethics to report its
   22         findings and recommendations to the Governor and
   23         Cabinet or the Legislature upon finding a violation of
   24         the act; providing an effective date.
   25          
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27  
   28         Section 1. Section 11.9006, Florida Statutes, is created to
   29  read:
   30         11.9006 Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment
   31  and Misconduct.—
   32         (1) There is created the Task Force on the Prevention of
   33  Sexual Harassment and Misconduct. The task force shall convene
   34  no later than September 30, 2019, and at least every 4 years
   35  thereafter. The task force shall meet as many times as is
   36  necessary in order to complete its duties prescribed under
   37  subsections (4) and (5). The task force is created for the
   38  express purpose of studying the problem of sexual harassment and
   39  misconduct and examining best practices to prevent sexual
   40  harassment and misconduct, particularly in government settings
   41  and as applied to the conduct of public officers, candidates for
   42  public office, agency employees, and lobbyists. The task force
   43  is created within the legislative branch for administrative
   44  purposes only. The Governor, the President of the Senate, and
   45  the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall assign staff
   46  to assist the task force in the performance of its duties.
   47         (2) The task force is composed of the following
   48  individuals:
   49         (a) One member of the Senate and one full-time employee of
   50  the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate.
   51         (b) One member of the House of Representatives and one
   52  full-time employee of the House of Representatives, appointed by
   53  the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
   54         (c) One member appointed by the Governor.
   55         (d) One member representing the Florida Council Against
   56  Sexual Violence, appointed by the council’s executive director.
   57         (e) One member representing the Florida Association of
   58  Counties, appointed by the association’s president.
   59         (f) One member representing the Florida League of Cities,
   60  appointed by the organization’s president.
   61         (g) One member representing the Florida Association of
   62  Professional Lobbyists, appointed by the association’s chair.
   63         (h) One member representing the Florida Press Association,
   64  appointed by the association’s chair.
   65         (i) One member representing the Florida Behavioral Health
   66  Association, appointed by the association’s chair.
   67  
   68  In selecting appointments, each appointing authority must
   69  consider the diversity of the members of the task force. Any
   70  vacancy in the membership of the task force must be filled in
   71  the same manner as the original appointment.
   72         (3) The members of the task force shall designate a chair
   73  at their first meeting. Meetings of the task force may be held
   74  via teleconferences or other electronic means. A majority of the
   75  members of the task force constitutes a quorum.
   76         (4) At a minimum, the task force shall examine all of the
   77  following:
   78         (a) The adequacy of current methods of reporting
   79  complaints, and the investigations thereof, of sexual harassment
   80  or misconduct.
   81         (b) Current procedures regarding the maintenance of the
   82  confidentiality of complaints, investigations, and the identity
   83  of victims.
   84         (c) Victims’ ability to obtain support, care, and
   85  assistance.
   86         (d) The adequacy of measures currently available to hold
   87  offenders accountable.
   88         (e) Any training and educational programs addressing sexual
   89  harassment or misconduct currently offered by governmental
   90  entities and whether changes are needed in order to increase
   91  their effectiveness.
   92         (f) Measures taken in other states to reduce the incidence
   93  of sexual harassment or misconduct involving public officers,
   94  candidates, and agency employees and to protect the rights of
   95  victims.
   96         (5) The task force shall report its findings and
   97  recommendations, including any recommendations for proposed
   98  legislative changes, to the Governor, the President of the
   99  Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least
  100  30 days before the convening of the next regular session of the
  101  Legislature. The terms of the members of the task force expire
  102  upon submission of the findings and recommendations.
  103         (6) Members of the task force shall serve without
  104  compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement for per diem and
  105  travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061 to be paid by the
  106  appointing authority.
  107         Section 2. Section 112.3126, Florida Statutes, is created
  108  to read:
  109         112.3126 Prohibition on sexual harassment.—
  110         (1) As used in this section, the term:
  111         (a) “Lobbyist” means a person who is either required to
  112  register to lobby before the legislative branch pursuant to s.
  113  11.045 or required to register to lobby before the executive
  114  branch or the Constitution Revision Commission pursuant to s.
  115  112.3215.
  116         (b) “Sexually harass” includes making unwelcome sexual
  117  advances; making requests for sexual favors; or exhibiting any
  118  other conduct of a sexual nature by a public officer, a
  119  candidate for public office, an employee of an agency, or a
  120  lobbyist which is directed toward any individual when:
  121         1. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or
  122  implicitly, a term or condition of the individual’s employment;
  123         2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an
  124  individual is used as the basis for how the public officer,
  125  candidate, agency employee, or lobbyist makes decisions relating
  126  to his or her position which affect such individual; or
  127         3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an
  128  intimidating, a hostile, or an offensive working environment.
  129         (2) A public officer, a candidate who has qualified to run
  130  for public office, an agency employee, or a lobbyist may not
  131  sexually harass any individual, regardless of whether an
  132  employment relationship exists.
  133         (3) This section is intended to supplement existing law and
  134  not to supplant provisions that allow for the submission, and
  135  the disposition thereof, of complaints in accordance with the
  136  rules of either house of the Legislature or the joint rules.
  137         Section 3. Section 112.317, Florida Statutes, is reenacted
  138  and amended to read:
  139         112.317 Penalties.—
  140         (1) Any violation of this part, including, but not limited
  141  to, failure to file disclosures required by this part or
  142  violation of any standard of conduct imposed by this part, or
  143  any violation of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, in
  144  addition to any criminal penalty or other civil penalty
  145  involved, under applicable constitutional and statutory
  146  procedures, constitutes grounds for, and may be punished by, one
  147  or more of the following:
  148         (a) In the case of a public officer:
  149         1. Impeachment.
  150         2. Removal from office.
  151         3. Suspension from office.
  152         4. Public censure and reprimand.
  153         5. Forfeiture of no more than one-third of his or her
  154  salary per month for no more than 12 months.
  155         6. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
  156         7. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because
  157  of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that
  158  the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of which the
  159  public officer was a member or to the General Revenue Fund.
  160         (b) In the case of an employee or a person designated as a
  161  public officer by this part who otherwise would be deemed to be
  162  an employee:
  163         1. Dismissal from employment.
  164         2. Suspension from employment for not more than 90 days
  165  without pay.
  166         3. Demotion.
  167         4. Reduction in his or her salary level.
  168         5. Forfeiture of no more than one-third salary per month
  169  for no more than 12 months.
  170         6. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
  171         7. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because
  172  of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that
  173  the restitution penalty be paid to the agency by which the
  174  public employee was employed, or of which the officer was deemed
  175  to be an employee, or to the General Revenue Fund.
  176         8. Public censure and reprimand.
  177         (c) In the case of a candidate who violates this part or s.
  178  8(a) and (i), Art. II of the State Constitution:
  179         1. Disqualification from being on the ballot.
  180         2. Public censure.
  181         3. Reprimand.
  182         4. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
  183         (d) In the case of a former public officer or employee who
  184  has violated a provision applicable to former officers or
  185  employees or whose violation occurred before the officer’s or
  186  employee’s leaving public office or employment:
  187         1. Public censure and reprimand.
  188         2. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
  189         3. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because
  190  of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that
  191  the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of the public
  192  officer or employee or to the General Revenue Fund.
  193         (e) In the case of a person who is subject to the standards
  194  of this part, other than a lobbyist or lobbying firm under s.
  195  112.3215 for a violation of s. 112.3215, but who is not a public
  196  officer or employee:
  197         1. Public censure and reprimand.
  198         2. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
  199         3. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because
  200  of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that
  201  the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of the person or
  202  to the General Revenue Fund.
  203         (f) In the case of an individual who is required to
  204  register as a lobbyist under s. 11.045 or s. 112.3215 and who
  205  violates s. 112.3126:
  206         1. Public censure and reprimand.
  207         2. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
  208         3. Prohibition from lobbying the legislative and executive
  209  branches for a specified period.
  210         (2) In any case in which the commission finds a violation
  211  of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and
  212  the proper disciplinary official or body under s. 112.324
  213  imposes a civil penalty or restitution penalty, the Attorney
  214  General shall bring a civil action to recover such penalty. No
  215  defense may be raised in the civil action to enforce the civil
  216  penalty or order of restitution that could have been raised by
  217  judicial review of the administrative findings and
  218  recommendations of the commission by certiorari to the district
  219  court of appeal. The Attorney General shall collect any costs,
  220  attorney fees, expert witness fees, or other costs of collection
  221  incurred in bringing the action.
  222         (3) The penalties prescribed in this part shall not be
  223  construed to limit or to conflict with:
  224         (a) The power of either house of the Legislature to
  225  discipline its own members or impeach a public officer.
  226         (b) The power of agencies to discipline officers or
  227  employees.
  228         (4) Any violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the
  229  State Constitution by a public officer constitutes malfeasance,
  230  misfeasance, or neglect of duty in office within the meaning of
  231  s. 7, Art. IV of the State Constitution.
  232         (5) By order of the Governor, upon recommendation of the
  233  commission, any elected municipal officer who violates this part
  234  or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution may be suspended from
  235  office and the office filled by appointment for the period of
  236  suspension. The suspended officer may at any time before removal
  237  be reinstated by the Governor. The Senate may, in proceedings
  238  prescribed by law, remove from office, or reinstate, the
  239  suspended official, and for such purpose the Senate may be
  240  convened in special session by its President or by a majority of
  241  its membership.
  242         (6) In any case in which the commission finds probable
  243  cause to believe that a complainant has committed perjury in
  244  regard to any document filed with, or any testimony given
  245  before, the commission, it shall refer such evidence to the
  246  appropriate law enforcement agency for prosecution and taxation
  247  of costs.
  248         (7) In any case in which the commission determines that a
  249  person has filed a complaint against a public officer or
  250  employee with a malicious intent to injure the reputation of
  251  such officer or employee by filing the complaint with knowledge
  252  that the complaint contains one or more false allegations or
  253  with reckless disregard for whether the complaint contains false
  254  allegations of fact material to a violation of this part, the
  255  complainant shall be liable for costs plus reasonable attorney
  256  fees incurred in the defense of the person complained against,
  257  including the costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred in
  258  proving entitlement to and the amount of costs and fees. If the
  259  complainant fails to pay such costs and fees voluntarily within
  260  30 days following such finding by the commission, the commission
  261  shall forward such information to the Department of Legal
  262  Affairs, which shall bring a civil action in a court of
  263  competent jurisdiction to recover the amount of such costs and
  264  fees awarded by the commission.
  265         Section 4. Subsection (8) of section 112.324, Florida
  266  Statutes, is amended to read:
  267         112.324 Procedures on complaints of violations and
  268  referrals; public records and meeting exemptions.—
  269         (8) If, in cases other than complaints or referrals against
  270  impeachable officers or members of the Legislature, upon
  271  completion of a full and final investigation by the commission,
  272  the commission finds that there has been a violation of this
  273  part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, it is the
  274  duty of the commission to report its findings and recommend
  275  appropriate action to the proper disciplinary official or body
  276  as follows, and such official or body has the power to invoke
  277  the penalty provisions of this part, including the power to
  278  order the appropriate elections official to remove a candidate
  279  from the ballot for a violation of s. 112.3145 or s. 8(a) and
  280  (i), Art. II of the State Constitution:
  281         (a) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the
  282  House of Representatives, jointly, in any case concerning the
  283  Public Counsel, members of the Public Service Commission,
  284  members of the Public Service Commission Nominating Council, the
  285  Auditor General, or the director of the Office of Program Policy
  286  Analysis and Government Accountability, or a person who is
  287  required to register as a lobbyist under s. 11.045 for a
  288  violation of s. 112.3126.
  289         (b) The Supreme Court, in any case concerning an employee
  290  of the judicial branch.
  291         (c) The President of the Senate, in any case concerning an
  292  employee of the Senate; the Speaker of the House of
  293  Representatives, in any case concerning an employee of the House
  294  of Representatives; or the President and the Speaker, jointly,
  295  in any case concerning an employee of a committee of the
  296  Legislature whose members are appointed solely by the President
  297  and the Speaker or in any case concerning an employee of the
  298  Public Counsel, Public Service Commission, Auditor General, or
  299  Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.
  300         (d) The Governor and the Cabinet, in any case concerning a
  301  person who is required to register as a lobbyist under s.
  302  112.3215 for a violation of s. 112.3126.
  303         (e) Except as otherwise provided by this part, the
  304  Governor, in the case of any other public officer, public
  305  employee, former public officer or public employee, candidate or
  306  former candidate, or person who is not a public officer or
  307  employee, other than lobbyists and lobbying firms under s.
  308  112.3215 for violations of s. 112.3215.
  309         (f)(e) The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the
  310  House of Representatives, whichever is applicable, in any case
  311  concerning a former member of the Legislature who has violated a
  312  provision applicable to former members or whose violation
  313  occurred while a member of the Legislature.
  314         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.

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