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Speaker Coughlin’s Announcement of New Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy: What They’re Saying

(TRENTON) – Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) announced a resolution to implement a new, comprehensive anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policy, designed to create a work environment as safe and welcoming as possible. The move is receiving across-the-board praise from a wide array of legal, political and social groups and organizations.

Here’s what they’re saying:

New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech:
“I applaud Speaker Coughlin for putting forth such a thorough and comprehensive anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy. The New Jersey AFL-CIO is committed to promoting worker protections in all areas and that includes making clear that there must be zero tolerance for any type of harassment or discrimination. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO passed a similar policy at our most recent convention in June, 2018. This new policy sends an undeniable message that the Speaker is very serious about ensuring that people feel safe in the workplace and are treated with the respect they deserve.”

Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino:
“We praise Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for this comprehensive and inclusive anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy. This update recognizes, embraces, and protects the expansion of diverse work environments; an approach that is necessary and well overdue. Speaker Coughlin’s policy could serve as a model for more ironclad protections of marginalized groups in the workplace both across the state, and throughout the nation.”

New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault Executive Director Patricia Teffenhart, MPA:
“The national discourse has affirmed what advocates have long contended – the impact and prevalence of sexual violence is staggering. As the New Jersey Legislature is charged with passing meaningful policy to address the issue throughout our State, it is timely and appropriate to update and strengthen their own codes of conduct relating to this issue. Sexual violence is 100% preventable. Through a combination of policy change and accountability, we can shift the culture that affirms our shared commitment to a safe and healthy environment for everyone who works as a part of, or with, the New Jersey State Assembly. We applaud these efforts and stand ready to support their implementation in any way possible.”

Communications Workers of America District 1 Area Director Hetty Rosenstein:
“All workers, no matter where they are employed or by whom, deserve a workplace where they are treated with dignity and respect. If we have learned anything in the past several years, it is that people at the highest levels of power can both abuse others or be abused themselves. We welcome the rules proposed by the Speaker.”

Trenton Mayor and former Assemblyman Reed Gusciora:
“As a veteran of the New Jersey General Assembly I’m proud to support the updated anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy announced by Speaker Coughlin. Everyone has the right to feel safe in the workplace, but sadly not everyone is welcomed or shown the respect they deserve. The new policy not only provides a crystal clear definition of harassment and discrimination, it also lays out the penalties for violators up to and including termination while providing privacy protections for victims. This is an important step forward for New Jersey and I’m happy to see the Assembly leading the charge.”

New Jersey State Bar Association President John E. Keefe, Jr:
“We commend the New Jersey State Assembly and Speaker Coughlin for joining the ranks of agencies, businesses and organizations that have established formal policies and procedures to protect victims from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, an issue that has become the scourge of our times.”