Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA city council president calls for review of harassment training

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

With two sexual harassment lawsuits filed against City Hall in the past month, council President Herb Wesson (top right) is calling for a new approach to workplace training.

With the offices of two Los Angeles city councilmen facing sexual harassment lawsuits from former employees (attached below), the president of the L.A. City Council wants to review workplace training for all employees, he announced Wednesday.

A motion from Council President Herb Wesson calls for a review of sexual harassment and ethics training given to City Hall employees. He also wants ordinances that would require all elected officials and employees to regularly participate in training seminars in person. Currently, officials only have to complete online training.

This comes one week after a former staffer, Francine Godoy, sued Councilman Jose Huizar for sexual harassment and retaliation. Huizar says he and Godoy had a consensual affair, but he has denied the harassment charges.

The chief of staff to Councilman Mitch Englander is also facing a discrimination suit from a former field deputy. The unnamed woman alleges John Lee made sexual and offensive comments to her and that she was denied a promotion because of her gender.

The woman alleges that when she complained to Englander about discriminatory behavior, he suggested she only wanted to be a public safety deputy so she could get naked with firefighters. She says he also made "other inappropriate comments."

The only woman on the city council — Nury Martinez — seconded Wesson's motion. 
 

 

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