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Illinois, one of the first states to enact a comprehensive program, adopted elements of both regulation and protection.  SB 402 requires many agencies and state officials, including legislators, to adopt sexual harassment prohibition and reporting rules; requires training for state officials and employees; requires training for lobbyists; requires lobbyists and their employers to adopt sexual harassment prohibitions and reporting rules; and adopts a scheme of reporting, investigating, and penalizing sexual harassment by lobbyists and their employers.  Lobbyists and their employers must confirm in their registration that they have adopted the required policy, agree to make it available on request to any individual, agree that any person may contact the registrant’s agent to report harassment, and recognize the state’s authority to regulate in this space.  The state has adopted emergency regulations implementing the new law.Oregon is also among those states protecting both government employees and lobbyists.  The state is expanding its regular legislative anti-harassment training on a voluntary basis to both the executive branch and lobbyists.Some states remain more focused on protecting lobbyists from harassment and coercive situations.  After reports of legislators harassing and abusing lobbyists in Minnesota, state legislators are pushing for a formal reporting system to be used by lobbyists and others, with an independent investigative body.  California is also working on this aspect of the issue, where the legislature is considering parallel efforts to protect legislative staff and lobbyists from harassment by lawmakers.

Other states have focused more on regulation.  New Mexico has offered trainings for lobbyists, and will be asking lobbyists to disclose whether they have sexual harassment policies in place and if they have attended the training.  The Secretary of State plans to push to make the training mandatory.  While Utah rejected a proposal to require anti-harassment training for lobbyists late last year, there are plans to introduce a bill on the topic in this session.

The issue has also rekindled a proposal that North Carolina and Missouri have previously rejected — whether sex between legislators and lobbyists is a “gift” regulated by state ethics laws.  Florida is now the latest state to consider the question, anticipating that, along with a contemplated sexual harassment claims panel and other changes, defining sex as a prohibited lobbyist gift will disrupt an allegedly hostile culture in Tallahassee.

Photo of Angelle Smith Baugh Angelle Smith Baugh

Angelle Smith Baugh is of counsel in the firm’s Election and Political Law and White Collar Litigation practice groups. She has significant experience in broad-based crisis management, advising clients on legal and political matters presenting complex risks.

Angelle’s practice focuses on defending companies…

Angelle Smith Baugh is of counsel in the firm’s Election and Political Law and White Collar Litigation practice groups. She has significant experience in broad-based crisis management, advising clients on legal and political matters presenting complex risks.

Angelle’s practice focuses on defending companies and individuals in high-profile congressional investigations, as well as other criminal, civil, and internal investigations. She represents clients before House and Senate Committees, as well as in criminal and civil government investigations before the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, Federal Election Commission, and the Office of Congressional Ethics.

She assists companies and executives responding to formal and informal inquiries from Congress and executive branch agencies for documents, information, and testimony. She has experience preparing CEOs and other senior executives to testify before challenging congressional oversight hearings.

Angelle also has experience and expertise navigating federal and state ethics laws, and provides ongoing political law advice to companies, trade associations, PACs, and individuals.

Photo of Andrew Garrahan Andrew Garrahan

Andrew Garrahan represents and counsels clients at the intersection of law and politics. He guides them through both regulatory compliance issues and government investigations on matters including state and federal campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and corruption.

Mr. Garrahan’s prior career in political fundraising…

Andrew Garrahan represents and counsels clients at the intersection of law and politics. He guides them through both regulatory compliance issues and government investigations on matters including state and federal campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and corruption.

Mr. Garrahan’s prior career in political fundraising gives him a unique perspective on the challenges faced by his clients, which include corporations, candidates, government officials, political and nonprofit organizations, and private individuals.

Mr. Garrahan is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia bars.