Survey to Gauge Legislature’s Workplace Environment

    The presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly announced Tuesday that the legislature will soon launch a Workplace Climate Survey of the legislative workplace environment, in an effort to improve the culture in and around the State House and policies surrounding sexual harassment.

    The survey, to be conducted by the firm TalentKeepers, will go to more than 1,600 who work in and around the legislature – including lawmakers, staffers and registered lobbyists.

    “Over the past decade, the Maryland legislature has tried to stay ahead of the curve on implementing best practices for a safe workplace,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) in a statement. “Getting direct, anonymous feedback from legislators, staff and [Maryland General Assembly] users is another step in the right direction to make improvements to our system.”

    The survey will be conducted over a two-week period this month. Answers will be collected anonymously and will be analyzed the consulting firm.

    Conducting a climate survey was among the recommendations made by the Workplace Harassment Commission that the presiding officers established in January 2018. The requirement to conduct a climate survey every two years was proposed by the presiding officers and formally adopted as one of a number of policy changes on the workplace environment made by the Legislative Policy Committee in December 2018. The findings will be presented to that committee later this year.

    “We look forward to seeing the results of this important appraisal and encourage all legislators and employees to take the time to fill out this significant survey,” Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.