Reno – Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak today signed an executive order (2019-2) directing the Nevada Department of Taxation, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the Purchasing Division of the Nevada Department of Administration to collect sexual harassment and discrimination policies from marijuana and gaming privileged license holders and state vendors.
Governor Sisolak’s first executive order (2019-1) established the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Law and Policy, and according to the press release, “established combatting sexual harassment and discrimination as a day 1 priority of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.”
The task force, according to the release, aims to address sexual harassment and discrimination within agencies of Nevada’s executive branch of government, which include all activities in the state’s six constitutional offices. According to the governor’s office, the goal is to “lead by example, addressing matters and parties directly within the purview of State government.”
Executive Order 2019-2 focuses on sexual harassment policies in businesses that hold “privileged licenses” or licenses that are revocable in the gaming and cannabis industries, both highly regulated sectors.
Because the state has the leverage needed to force the close examination of the sexual harassment policies of gaming and marijuana businesses, the tightly controlled licensing relationship presents an “opportunity to motivate this discussion (sexual harassment) within certain parts of the private sector,” the Executive Order reads.
The assessment of sexual harassment policies, in the gaming and cannabis industries and businesses doing business with the state is intended to help promote public confidence and trust in these companies and more, Governor Sisolak appears intent to comply with Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the anti-discrimination priorities set forth by lawmakers and detailed in NRS 233.010.
What will happen after the policies are collected?
From the Executive Order:
After collecting such policies and procedures, and not later than May 1, 2019, the Nevada Department of Taxation, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the Purchasing Division, Department of Administration, shall review these documents and provide separate reports of their general findings and conclusions to the Office of the Governor and to the Attorney General as Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Law and Policy.
The order will remain in effect until the agencies report their findings to the Governor and Attorney General on or before May 1, 2019.
Read the full text of the Executive Order below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2019-2
ORDER DIRECTING THE NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION, THE NEVADA GAMING CONTROL BOARD, AND THE PURCHASING DIVISION, NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION TO COLLECT SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION POLICIES FROM MARIJUANA AND GAMING PRIVILEGED LICENSE HOLDERS AND STATE VENDORS
WHEREAS, Executive Order 2019-1 established combatting sexual harassment and discrimination as a day 1 priority of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.
WHEREAS, Executive Order 2019-1 established the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Law and Policy to address sexual harassment and discrimination within agencies of Nevada’s executive branch. The goal—to lead by example, addressing matters and parties directly within the purview of State government.
WHEREAS, recognizing that private industry must also address fairness, diversity, and the integrity of its employment relationships to effect societal change to reduce—and, eventually eliminate to the degree possible—sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, Nevada has an opportunity to motivate this discussion within certain parts of the private sector.
WHEREAS, private businesses that operate according to privileged licenses, especially marijuana and gaming, which are most prominent, are uniquely situated among Nevada’s private economic interests. Such businesses, which, in general, have contributed tremendously to the economic wellbeing of Nevada’s economy, operate according to State and municipal governments’ strict licensing and regulatory oversight governing privileged, revocable licenses.
Nevada law establishes that the purpose of registering marijuana establishments is to protect the public health and safety and the general welfare of the people of this State. State statutory provisions and various municipal codes establish marijuana establishment certificates as revocable privileges. Under the terms of State statute, the Nevada Department of Taxation, an agency of the executive branch of Nevada government, is the authorized state regulatory agency for all marijuana establishments.
NRS 463.0129(2), which contains Nevada’s public policy concerning gaming, declares that all individuals and entities granted any approval or license under NRS 463 or 464 of the Gaming Control Act are possessed of a revocable privilege and acquire no vested right therein or thereunder. The Nevada Gaming Control Act delegates regulatory authority over licensed gaming in the State to the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, both agencies of the executive branch of Nevada government.
WHEREAS, the Nevada Legislature has acknowledged the importance of strict regulation of privileged marijuana and gaming license holders to promote public confidence and trust in these industries. The Nevada Legislature has also articulated the priority of ensuring that such businesses be regulated to protect the public health, safety, morals, good order and general welfare of the inhabitants of the State.
WHEREAS, just as Nevada’s most prominent privileged license industries occupy an important and unique place within Nevada’s economy, so, too, do registered vendors of State government. Such vendors are subject to State Purchasing Act provisions codified in NRS 333 and regulations promulgated by the Administrator of the State Purchasing Division.
WHEREAS, given that public funds are expended directly for goods and services provided by State registered vendors, ensuring their compliance with federal and State sexual harassment and discrimination laws and policies is important to protecting the public health, safety, morals, good order and general welfare of the inhabitants of the State.
WHEREAS, sexual harassment and discrimination violate the policy and law of the State of Nevada and Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964; and
WHEREAS, the State of Nevada is committed to promoting a culture that values respect, opportunity, inclusion, and diversity, free from sexual harassment and discrimination. As the Nevada Legislature declared in NRS 233.010, which contains the State’s public policy against discrimination, including sexual harassment–a form of sex discrimination:
. . .
(3) It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the State of Nevada to protect the welfare, prosperity, health and peace of all the people of the State, and to foster the right of all persons reasonably to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination, distinction or restriction because of race, religious creed, color, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry.
(4) It is recognized that the people of this State should be afforded full and accurate information concerning actual and alleged practices of [sexual harassment as a form of] discrimination and acts of prejudice, and that such information may provide the basis for formulating statutory remedies of equal protection and opportunity for all citizens in this State.
WHEREAS, it stands to reason that privileged marijuana and gaming license holders would take great care, including establishing and enforcing robust sexual harassment and discrimination policies and procedures with accompanying training, to address and prevent violations of Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the anti-discrimination provisions detailed in NRS 233.010, given the heightened scrutiny and risk of discipline, including and up to license revocation, a privileged and revocable license may be subject to for a violation of these laws.
WHEREAS, vendors doing business with the State of Nevada, as recipients of public funds, also have significant incentives to ensure they are vigilant in preventing sexual harassment and discrimination and in addressing claims of this illegal activity among their employees.
WHEREAS, Article 5, Section 1 of the Nevada Constitution provides: “The supreme executive power of this State, shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate who shall be Governor of Nevada.”
WHEREAS, Article 5, Section 6 of the Nevada Constitution declares that the Governor “shall transact all executive business with the Officers of the Government Civil and Military; and may require information in writing, from the Officers of the Executive Department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective Offices.”
NOW, THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as Governor by the Constitution and laws of the State of Nevada and the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
SECTION 1: The Nevada Department of Taxation and the Nevada Gaming Control Board, as agencies of the executive branch, are directed to request and collect sexual harassment and discrimination policies and procedures from privileged marijuana and gaming license, permit, or certificate holders under the respective jurisdiction of one of these two agencies.
SECTION 2: The Purchasing Division, Nevada Department of Administration, as an agency of the executive branch, is directed to request and collect sexual harassment and discrimination policies and procedures from all current State vendors. Moreover, the Administrator of the Purchasing Division is hereby directed to ensure that all prospective State registered vendors submit such policies and procedures for review and that any awardee of a State contract submit similar documentation for review.
SECTION 3: After collecting such policies and procedures, and not later than May 1, 2019, the Nevada Department of Taxation, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the Purchasing Division, Department of Administration, shall review these documents and provide separate reports of their general findings and conclusions to the Office of the Governor and to the Attorney General as Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Law and Policy.
SECTION 4: To promote transparency and democratic governance, if necessary, agencies here named shall seek from each subject person or entity a waiver of any statutory or regulatory confidentiality provisions that may otherwise apply to these documentary submissions, with the express purpose of ensuring such documents constitute public records under NRS 239.
SECTION 5: The Nevada Department of Taxation, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the Purchasing Division, Nevada Department of Administration, shall work with those persons and entities submitting sexual harassment and discrimination policies and procedures to vigorously protect the confidentiality of any identifiable individual, through appropriate redactions, and especially the identities of alleged victims. It is of the greatest possible public concern that no victim of sexual harassment and discrimination should be re-victimized through this process.
SECTION 6: This Order shall be effective upon signature and remain in effect until the two agencies report their findings to the Governor and Attorney General, but not later than May 1, 2019 unless it is terminated earlier or extended beyond that date by subsequent Executive Order.