Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro said that legislation making it harder to sue state employees for sexual harassment would put state legislators above the law.
The opposition, led by Democrats, argued the bill adds another burden to someone considering suing a state employee over sexual harassment. There are few punishments outside the courtroom for elected officials, argued Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis. To hold a potentially massive legal fee above the head of a victim, who could lose an otherwise sound case on a technicality, is wrong, Harris, Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, and other supporters noted.
“What I fear that what this bill does without this amendment is put legislators above the law. We’ve had a cloud of allegations this year about sexual harassment in this general assembly and I think anything that we do that sends the message that we don’t want to be held subject to the highest standards of the law is a step in the wrong direction," Yarbro said on the Senate floor Thursday.