Pressure Grows for Senate to Pass Bill Protecting Congressional Staff from Sexual Misconduct

April 20, 2018

Thirty-two male Senators have called for Senate leadership to substantially change how the chamber handles sexual harassment claims, possibly setting the stage for a private sector measure.  The letter states: "If we fail to act immediately to address this systemic problem in our own workplace, we will lose all credibility in the eyes of the American public regarding our capacity to protect victims of sexual harassment or discrimination in any setting."  Combined with a similar bipartisan letter published in March from all of the women serving in the Senate, this means there are now 55 members calling on the leadership to pass legislation that would:

  • Allow victims to choose his or her own path to resolve a complaint instead of mandating secret mediation and counseling;
  • Hold members of Congress personally liable for harassment or discrimination claims; and
  • Prohibit members of Congress from hiding settlements from the public unless the victim seeks privacy.
Earlier this year, the House passed similar legislation.