Where to Watch FOX40 News During the World Cup

Senate, Assembly Form Joint Committee to Create Sexual Harassment Policies

SACRAMENTO -- The Senate and Assembly announced Wednesday that they will form a joint committee to create uniform sexual harassment policies, governing how they investigate claims and protect employees who bring forward complaints.

The eight-member committee will hold its first hearing later this month.

FOX40 reached out to Assembly Rules Committee Chair Ken Cooley for comment.

He shared a letter to Assembly staff that says in part:

"To employees who fear they will not be believed or could be subject to retaliation if they bring their concerns forward, I want you to know that you will be protected if you make a complaint of provide information about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior."

The move from the two houses addressing sexual harassment at the Capitol comes a day after Adriana Ruelas, a former employee at the Capitol, filed a discrimination complaint against Sen. Tony Mendoza, the California Senate and two legislative officials, alleging that she was retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment.

Ruelas was Mendoza's legislative director, who alleged that the Senate fired her and two others in September after they complained to superiors and human resources workers about Mendoza`s inappropriate behavior toward a young woman assigned to his Capitol office.

Ruelas filed a lawsuit last year against the state Alcoholic Beverage Control, alleging that she was subjected to and witnessed years of racist, sexist and homophobic statements by an ABC director and other administrators.