Omaha has had discrimination and harassment policies on the books for some time but up until recently the city did not have one specific for sexual harassment. Mayor Jean Stothert issued an executive order that defines the issue, reporting procedures and disciplinary measures if found guilty.
Mayor Stothert says, “I really wanted to make a point to say I care deeply about this issue as a mayor and a woman. I want to make sure that people understand there is a policy for city of Omaha employees. There is a route that they take. If someone feels like they are a victim we want them to come forward. We don’t want them to hide anymore. We want them to know it will be confidential and we will address it.”
This policy is more detailed than previous ones in place. It defines what sexual harassment means. It defines the procedure what employees should do if they feel they have been sexually harassed in any way, what steps to take and what action will be taken if those accused are found guilty.
Supervisors and directors will be trained in how to recognize and respond. New employees will also go through training.
Mayor Stothert says there were three reports of sexual harassment last year. All three were investigated and two were unfounded. Omaha employs about 2,600 people.