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House Unveils Sweeping Sexual Harassment Overhaul Bill

by Countable | 1.19.18

What’s the story?

Senior House lawmakers unveiled a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would reform how sexual harassment claims are handled in Congress.

The proposed amendment to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 would:

  • Require lawmakers to reimburse the Treasury for sexual harassment settlements paid on their behalf within 90 days—even after they leave office

  • Provide victims who come forward "immediate access to a dedicated advocate who will provide legal consultation, representation, and assistance in proceedings"

  • Allow victims to work remotely, or on paid leave, without fear of retribution

  • Eliminate "the mandatory counseling and mediation provisions allowing an employee to proceed to an investigation or to file in federal court"

  • Require the Office of Compliance to report and publish information on awards and settlements every six months—with details on the claims

The bill comes after seven members of Congress have either resigned or said they would not seek reelection in the wake of sexual harassment claims.

What do you think?

Does Congress need to change its sexual harassment policy? Is this bill the way to do it? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: tzahiV / iStock)


Written by Countable

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