Oregon Legislators Want Vermont’s Anti-discrimination Agency to Investigate Suspicious Behavior

To prevent harassment, retr!bution, and hostile behavior at the Oregon State Capitol, lawmakers have chosen a civil rights enforcer from Vermont. The Joint Conduct Committee of the Vermont Legislature was scheduled to propose Bor Yang, executive director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission, for the position of legislative equality officer during a hearing on Monday (April 24).

A resolution formalizing Yang’s appointment would go before the House and Senate after it had been approved by the committee. The next LEO in the state legislature is a key post in the Capitol’s system for dealing with harassment and other troublesome conduct, and Yang’s credentials make him a strong candidate for the role.

Oregon legislators want Vermont's investigate suspicious behavior

The equality officer’s duties include conducting workplace training, responding to accusations of wrongdoing, assisting in the initiation of investigations, and frequently facing intense political pressure.

Former LEOs dealt with high-profile situations in which legislators were accused of harassment, sometimes resulting in professional ramifications. This position has been empty for about two years.

Since 2019, Yang has served as the executive director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission, an organization charged with combating discrimination in the state’s housing, employment, and public facilities.

She is in charge of more than $600,000, has five direct reports, acts as chief counsel, and is often cited in the media as an expert source on the commission’s enforcement proceedings against discriminatory behaviors by police, landlords, summer camps, and other organizations.

Yang handled agency complaints investigations before he was promoted to director. A 2019 feature in a Burlington newspaper states that she and her family emigrated to the United States when she was three after fleeing Laos. She studied law at the University of Minnesota after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

On Monday (April 24), Yang did not immediately reply to an email. The last LEO, Nate Monson, resigned under pressure in 2021, and since then, lawmakers have been trying to fill the position. Legislators went to a professional headhunting service, willing to pay up to $100,000 for successful recruitment after two rounds of job postings yielded no takers.

While politicians try to identify a successor, much of the equity officer’s functions have been contracted out to private lawyers at high rates. Much of this year has been spent by the heads of the Joint Conduct Committee, which is in charge of filling the equity post, on making a final decision.

Their pick, however, was kept under wraps until Monday. An amendment listing Yang as the preferred candidate was submitted on the Legislature’s website before her hearing.

The latest buzz on events at Oregon State is as follows:

How much money legislators want to pay Yang for the part is unclear. The recruiting agency Spelman Johnson sent a paper to the legislature outlining the difficulties that the new LEO would confront last year. Some have characterized the environment as unhealthy, and politicians as being unqualified to manage personnel. Others have complained about a “feckless” complaint procedure.

The document also said the wage range proposed by legislators for the next equality officer was inadequate. The maximum annual salary listed for the position is $166,128.


Laurie is a passionate news writer with a keen eye for detail and a dedication to accurate reporting. She has been covering local and national news for Focushillsboro.com for over a decade, bringing a fresh perspective and insightful analysis to every story she covers.Laurie's love of journalism began early in life, and she pursued a degree in journalism to further her knowledge and skills. She quickly made a name for herself in the industry, working for a variety of media outlets before joining the team at Focushillsboro.com.

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