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City of L.A.'s Personnel Department seeing more sexual harassment claims

The city of Los Angeles is now tracking sexual harassment claims against its employees through its Personnel Department.
(Los Angeles Times)

The city of Los Angeles’ Personnel Department is tracking more sexual harassment complaints against city employees since new reporting protocols were put in place in December.

The Personnel Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Division has received 26 reports of allegations of sexual harassment since Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the new guidelines, according to a department report released this week.

Before the new system was put in place, the same division received 35 sexual harassment-related complaints from 2013 to 2017, according to the report.

The Times previously reported that the city has lacked a centralized method for tracking sexual harassment complaints filed against its workers, and that such claims didn’t have to be filed with the city’s Personnel Department.

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For instance, a worker could choose to file a complaint with his or her department’s human resources section rather than the Personnel Department. Or the worker could go to a supervisor, who could deal with the complaint directly.

After news broke last fall about Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged abuse of women, Garcetti sought changes to how sexual harassment claims are reported at the city.

Now, departments must report an incident of sexual harassment to their human resources section within 48 hours of learning of the allegation, according to the report.

Also, human resources managers must report the incident to the Equal Employment Opportunity Division. Previously, the division investigated allegations filed with the city’s Office of Discrimination Complaint Resolution and responded to discrimination complaints filed with external agencies. But the division didn’t track complaints made internally at a department, according to the report.

“We were only seeing a small slice of sexual harassment claim incidents,” Jody Yoxsimer, assistant general manager at the Personnel Department, said Friday.

The report will be heard next week before a City Council committee.

dakota.smith@latimes.com

Twitter: @dakotacdsmith


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