California Senate hires outside firm to probe harassment

California Capitol
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Senate is hiring two outside firms to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and assault and to review its policies for addressing such incidents.

Senate leader Kevin de Leon's Monday announcement comes after nearly 150 women released an open letter calling out "pervasive" harassment in one of the nation's most powerful legislatures.

The Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer which specializes in investigating workplace harassment and discrimination will interview current and former Senate staff dating back five years. The chamber is also bringing on Sacramento-based CPS HR Consulting to review its harassment policies.

The Senate and Assembly have "zero-tolerance" harassment policies but women say they are inadequate.

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An Assembly subcommittee will review the lower chamber's policies when it next meets in January.
De Leon is currently running for U.S. Senate.