Harassment Case in Ohio Sparks Call for Culture Change

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Female state legislators and staffers in Ohio have joined a national letter-signing effort urging action to change the culture around sexual harassment.

Sen. Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat, headed the Ohio effort. The letter signed recently by 35 women says mandatory sexual harassment training is a start, but more is needed.

Tavares cites a 2016 task force study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that found scant evidence that training changes attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.

Republican Sen. Cliff Hite, of Findlay, resigned last month and apologized for inappropriate conversations and physical contact with a female state employee. The Ohio House subsequently released records showing three state representatives also faced harassment complaints.

Following allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, harassment complaints have arisen in at least 11 state legislatures.