Calling for greater transparency regarding the treatment of city hall employees, Newark Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins announced Tuesday plans to propose an ordinance that would offer greater protection to city employees who have been victims of sexual harassment.
The proposed legislation would change the City of Newark’s municipal code to ensure any settlement of sexual harassment or bias within City Hall would be open to public release upon approval of the victim.
The ordinance would also call on city council members to be notified of accusations brought on by city employees, and would mandate that city hall staff and elected officials be required to participate in sexual harassment training. A task force would also be formed to publicly review current city hall policy on the issue of sexual harassment.
Chaneyfield Jenkins will be asking council members to vote on drafting the ordinance at the Dec. 20 meeting of the council.
Chaneyfield Jenkins, at a December 4 pre-council meeting, addressed what she called an abuse of power by those in the Baraka administration. She also addressed allegations of sexual abuse inside city hall.
“I cannot believe that any of my council colleagues… that none of these women haven’t come up to you and told you what they’ve had to go through as far as having to have sex to get a job or they’ve been abused or they’ve been talked about or they’ve been ridiculed,” Chaneyfield Jenkins.
Chaneyfield Jenkins said those who represent the city must not stay silent.