Congress Passes Bill to Address Sexual Harassment in Legislative Workforce

From AAUW:

On Thursday, December 13, the House and Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that changes the way sexual harassment is addressed in the legislative workforce. The bill, which reforms the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, eliminates the problematic counseling, mediation, and “cooling off” periods required under the previous law. While the original version of the bill introduced in the House held members of Congress financially liable for both harassment and discrimination settlements, the final bill only holds members liable for harassment settlements. The bill also increases transparency by requiring an annual public report of awards and settlements for instances of harassment and provides additional support for legislative branch employees, including a dedicated advocate. AAUW supports equitable climates free of harassment and has urged Congress to take action on improving the process by which workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment, is addressed in the legislative workforce

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