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California program to track state worker harassment is a year behind schedule

A $1.5 million project to start tracking sexual harassment and discrimination in California state government is scheduled to be fully functional by January 2020 — a full year later than originally planned.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown proposed the project as a first step to start addressing allegations of gender-based harassment in state government that were coming out amid the #MeToo movement.

The state didn’t have a way to track complaints across its 150 departments, so it couldn’t identify problem departments or track employees who moved among departments after settling harassment cases. An investigation The Sacramento Bee published in January 2018 found the state paid more than $25 million over three years to settle sexual harassment claims.

Brown’s budget requested $1.5 million to hire a contractor and three employees and build a system to start tracking complaints government-wide. CalHR would operate it and the tool would be ready by December 2018, according to a budget request the Legislature later approved.

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