Workplace Conduct Unit

The Workplace Conduct Unit (WCU) is a division of the Office of Legislative Counsel, independent of the Legislature, created to investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the Legislature.  The WCU employs qualified, trained investigators, who are fair and respectful of complainants, witnesses, and respondents.  The investigators conduct prompt, independent, and objective investigations of allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct by legislative employees, legislative Members, or third parties, based on a person’s protected class.

The Process

Complaints

The WCU encourages anyone who observes inappropriate physical, verbal, or visual workplace conduct in the Legislature based on the individual’s protected class to report such conduct to the WCU.  The WCU accepts both anonymous reports and reports from identified individuals.

 

Supervisors’ Duty to Report

Supervisors (including Members) must report any complaints of inappropriate workplace misconduct on the basis of protected class to the WCU immediately so that the complaint can be resolved.

 

WCU Assessment of the Complaint

Once the WCU receives a report of inappropriate workplace conduct and determines that it relates to a protected class and is within the WCU’s jurisdiction, it assigns the report to an investigator.  All complaints determined to be outside of the WCU’s jurisdiction will be forwarded to the employees’ respective Human Resources office for internal review.

 

Investigation

WCU staff interviews witnesses and gathers all appropriate evidence and prepares a report and provides it to the Workplace Conduct Panel.

 

Workplace Conduct Panel

The case is then presented to a panel of independent employment experts, which reviews the report and evidence, and makes recommendations to the Senate Rules Committee and/or the Speaker of the Assembly regarding whether the investigation shows violation(s) of policy as well as any recommended disciplinary action.

 

Retaliation

Retaliation against a person for making a report to the WCU, participating in a WCU investigation, or opposing discrimination, harassment, or retaliation within the Legislature is unacceptable and is subject to investigation and disciplinary action.

 

Details on the Investigation Process

For more information about how the WCU investigates complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation made by Members of the Legislature, legislative staff, and third parties, in a manner that is fair and respectful to complainants, witnesses, and respondents, please review the WCU investigation procedures brochure.

 

Navigator

The Navigator is a neutral party who supports individuals participating in the complaint investigation and resolution process, as well as those who may still be considering whether to engage in the WCU process. The Navigator serves as a unique resource for those who are going through what may be a novel and challenging experience by providing meaningful support to individuals and participants by carefully listening to their questions, sensitively responding to inquiries, and connecting them to the appropriate individual or resources, as necessary.

If you have questions about the complaint investigation process and experience, contact the WCU Navigator at navigator@wcu.legislature.ca.gov or (888) 421-1377.