Capitol Hill Sexual HarassmentDecember 15, 2017
When sexual harassment becomes an accepted component of workplace culture, it can be very difficult for victims to act against their harassers. Many employers have anti-harassment policies in place to provide clear guidelines about what constitutes sexual harassment, and how it is to be reported and handled within the company. Sexual harassment does not just occur in private sector workplaces. Capitol Hill, home of the House of Representatives, has dealt with issues of sexual harassment for decades. In November 2017, Representative Jackie Speier introduced a bill that would require House members and staff to undergo sexual harassment training annually. After completing the training, they can file their certificates of completion with the House Ethics Committee.
Complaints and Allegations to Implement Changes
Sexual harassment claims in the House are nothing new. A female senator reported that when she interned on Capitol Hill in 1974, she faced sexual harassment from serving lawmakers. She is not the only current lawmaker who came forward about facing harassment as an intern after the bill was announced. Earlier this year, multiple female legislators in the House made public allegations of sexual harassment from their colleagues. Several complaints were about individuals who are currently serving in the House. It is important to note that this is not a partisan issue as individuals from both major political parties were accused of sexually harassing female colleagues.
How Required Training Can Change Culture
Sometimes, cultural changes in the workplace come abruptly out of necessity. As the issue of workplace sexual harassment becomes more publicized in the United States, mandatory training can be a necessary change and set an example for other workplaces and institutions across the country. The bill comes after a House Administration Committee hearing to examine its current harassment policies and resources for individuals making complaints.
During the hearing, a female lawmaker shared a story about a staff member who quit her job after a current Congress member exposed himself to her. The purpose of the bill is not only to educate legislators about sexual harassment in the workplace, but to send a message about behavior that will not be tolerated in the House of Representatives. A streamlined harassment policy can be the backbone to a new workplace culture for lawmakers and staff members working on Capitol Hill. Implementing this change requires effort from politicians of both genders and all parties.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Victims Fight for the Justice They Deserve
If you faced sexual harassment in your workplace, fill out our online form or call us at 215-569-1999 to schedule your initial consultation with a South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our office is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we work with clients throughout the state and New Jersey.