Call Congress: Stop sexual misconduct on the Hill.
In response to pressure over the growing #MeToo movement and reports of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, Congress members are taking steps to prevent unwanted sexual misconduct, most often towards younger women staffers. This week the House is voting on legislation to require anti-harassment training, as part of an effort to stamp out workplace sexual misconduct in Congress. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to call on your rep to support this mandatory anti-harassment training measure AND go a step further by urging their support of the #MeToo bill to make it easier for Congressional staff to file harassment claims.
In the wake of an ever-growing list of revelations of sexual assault and harassment by powerful men, from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to comedian Louis CK and more recently Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Congress has come under the spotlight for being a “breeding ground for harassment.” Currently, anti-harassment trainings for members of Congress, staffers, and interns are voluntary in both the House and Senate. Earlier this month the Senate passed a bill to make this anti-harassment training mandatory on Capitol Hill. The House is expected to vote on a similar measure this week.
While such training is important for preventing sexual misconduct and sending the message that harassment will not be tolerated, some women in Congress are ready to do more. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) have introduced legislation to reform Congress’s process for handling harassment claims, as the current process favors the perpetrator (read: most often a male Congress member wielding power), and not the survivor (read: often a younger, powerless, female staffer).
As it stands today, survivors are required to undergo counseling and mediation and to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), before submitting a complaint. This process can be protracted, taking several months, and making it so the person harmed has to work alongside their harasser.
Gillibrand and Speier's bill, the “ME TOO Congress Act” (H.R.4396/S.2159), would help reform the system so that it is less likely to deter survivors from coming forward. Among other things, the bill would require lawmakers to pay settlements out of pocket (rather than with taxpayer dollars, as currently is the case), allow the survivor to speak out publicly about the situation (not requiring an NDA before going into negotiations), and would make public any settlements paid on the Office of Compliance website. Call your representative today to urge them to support both of these critical anti-harassment measures.
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What is the ME TOO Congress Act? - Bustle