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Sex harassment at the Oregon capitol

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) investigations at the state capitol have found that sexual harassment in the form of inappropriate touching, suggestive language and power plays over subordinates are commonplace. However, those legislators identified as responsible for what’s been determined as wrongdoing, say the complaints against them are not true.
It has been the case among members of Congress, the entertainment industry, corporate executives, and others, that once discloser of this kind of behavior is made public the result has been stop actions, including immediate dismissal, forced resignation, heavy fine and, in a couple of cases, impending prison time. However, the case in Oregon has so far been a study in contrasts while the newly-elected BOLI commissioner, Val Hoyle, has recused herself due to what she argues is her predecessor’s “unusual role in the case” and turned the matter over to her second in command.
The upshot to where things stand now is that, at the request of the Capitol’s lawmakers, there will be no consequences for those found guilty.  Instead, there will be mediation.  That means things will remain as they have been in that workplace, an unchanged condition likely undesirable to those women who work in the Capitol and want action now.  Further, mediation entails a lot of talk in search of ways to address behavior improvements and, once agreed to, go into effect on a kind of honor system where individuals promise self-correction with nothing more done as long as everyone there walks the talk. 
It is imagined that this way of going about correcting behaviors places more pressure on the victims than the accused.  Under mediation the power remains with the accused who can bring down a whole lot of punishment on those who would be so bold as to report harassments again.  As a person who spent some of his working years in state employment, anyone who complained to higher ups about the unacceptable conduct of managers received intolerable treatment in return, to the extent that they were often forced to resign while perpetrators, somewhat more encouraged, survived. 
What has been going on by way of sexual harassment at the state Capitol has been going on for decades there and is, one might speculate, in the DNA of the place as it resides widespread in our society at large.  Mediation steps will be taken because that’s what the current authority (perhaps involving the usual political suspects) has committed to allow. But don’t expect the inappropriate behavior to disappear overnight.  As history from elsewhere has shown under similar circumstances, it predictably will not just go away through promises of self-discipline and just may, possibly, wait until those responsible have left the premises due to retirements or are replaced by way of the ballot box.      
(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes.)