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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Murphy announces new sexual misconduct policies

By Nikita Biryukov, February 05 2019 6:28 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced a new set of state policies related to the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against state employees.

“These sweeping revised policies and procedures make significant and impactful changes to how sexual harassment and misconduct allegations are handled in state government,” Murphy said. “These additional measures clearly dictate the appropriate course of action to be taken by both survivors and the state.”

The updated policy broadens the reach of the state’s sexual misconduct rules by expanding them to cover employees and applicants to gubernatorial transition offices.

The new policy also does not require that victims or perpetrators be state employees at the time of a sexual assault.

The State Attorney General’s equal employment opportunity office said it did not have jurisdiction over State Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency chief of staff Katie Brennan’s alleged assault because she and former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez, whom Brennan claims sexually assaulted her, were not state employees in April 2017, when the assault is said to have occurred.

The new policies also broaden the definition of sexual assault, add interim measures to separate or otherwise protect parties in an EEO complaint and provide clearer guidelines for reporting incidents of sexual misconduct.

These rules will require changes be made to the state’s administrative code before they are active.

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