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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy announces reforms to combat harassment in New Jersey politics

By Nikita Biryukov, February 13 2020 5:41 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy announced a series of reforms meant to combat toxic workplace culture in New Jersey’s capital Thursday.

“As I have said previously, I am committed to making real, positive, and long-lasting changes to address the culture in Trenton, particularly around reports of the unacceptable treatment of women,” Murphy said. “I have said time and time again that my goal is to make New Jersey stronger and fairer for everyone. Make no mistake: I believe that a more respectful culture for women in our state is a moral imperative.”

The reforms deal mainly with updating the state’s sexual harassment trainings and creating courses to encourage healthy work environments.

Murphy has faced renewed scrutiny in recent weeks following the ouster of Adam Alonso and Liz Gilbert from the Democratic National Convention’s host committee.

Alonso, a former Murphy deputy chief of staff who had worked closely with the Democratic State Committee, was accused of creating a hostile work environment at the host committee.

The new policies, which Murphy hinted at during his state of the state address last month, come as a working group led by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg explores the level of sexual harassment and misogyny in New Jersey politics.

“While we have made progress, I recognize that our state has a long way to go,” Murphy said. “I will embrace and take every action necessary to ensure that work environments are fully characterized by mutual respect and dignity and I will ensure they are places where everyone can succeed. New Jersey can and must be a national model on this and I will not rest until that goal is achieved.”

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