Undercurrent

Gov. Sisolak’s first official act: Task force on sexual harassment

By: - January 7, 2019 3:08 pm
Sisolak and Ford

Attorney General Aaron Ford watches as Gov. Steve Sisolak signs his first executive order. (Photo: Sisolak’s Twitter)

Following his inauguration midday Monday, Gov. Steve Sisolak issued his first executive order: the creation of a task force focused on sexual harassment and discrimination.

Sisolak and Ford
Attorney General Aaron Ford watches as Gov. Steve Sisolak signs his first executive order.

According to a press release, duties of the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Law and Policy will “include a review of federal and State sexual harassment laws, regulations, and policies as well as prevention plans and trainings currently in place. The task force will deliver actionable recommendations to the governor for improving current prevention plans and training procedures, allegation reporting and investigation protocol, and privacy protection safeguards, as well as models for policies, procedures, and trainings within the executive branch agencies.”

Attorney General Aaron Ford, who was also sworn in today, will chair the task force. Ten others will serve on the volunteer board. They will include:

  • The executive director of the Department of Administration
  • The administrator of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission
  • A representative from the William S. Boyd School of Law, who will represent higher education interests
  • A sexual harassment and discrimination victims’ rights advocate
  • A representative of local law enforcement
  • An individual with expertise in medical and psychological treatment of sexual harassment and discrimination victims
  • A representative of a labor union that represents the interests of culinary and hospitality workers in Nevada’s resort industry
  • A representative of a Nevada chamber of commerce
  • A representative of a county with a population of fewer than 100,000 people
  • A representative of the Nevada Resort Association

In a press release, Sisolak said: “There is no place for workforce sexual harassment or discrimination in Nevada, period. And if we want to deliver on that reality, then the State of Nevada must lead by example. This task force will deliver real recommendations on how we can successfully do that and I look forward to their findings.”

The Nevada Gaming Commission has come under fire for dragging its feet on rules proposed by the Gaming Control Board to help protect hotel and casino workers from sexual harassment. Several weeks ago, Sisolak, echoing then-Gov. Brian Sandoval, called on the Commission to add the proposals to its agenda.

It was unclear Monday if the Commission might use the task force as a reason to forestall taking up the recommendations proposed by Gaming Control.

Sisolak’s Interim Communications Director Christina Amestoy says the executive action does not put the proposed regulations on hold.

Sisolak is Nevada’s 30th governor and its first Democratic governor in more than two decades. He succeeds former Gov. Brian Sandoval, whose first executive order back in 2011 emphasized economic development and established a freeze on most proposed administrative regulations.

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April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, two children and two mutts.

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