Congress is taking steps to make sexual harassment prevention training mandatory for all lawmakers and their staff, in both the House and the Senate.
Democrats in the House Administration Committee called for making training mandatory for lawmakers, staff, and House employees ahead of their hearing on the issue Tuesday — supporting legislation from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).
Last week the Senate passed a similar rule, requiring all senators and their staff to undergo sexual harassment prevention training — the first major policy change in Congress since the legislative branch came under heightened scrutiny as a breeding ground for workplace harassment.
The Senate unanimously voted to mandate harassment prevention training last Thursday, requiring all new lawmakers and staff in the upper chamber to complete training within the first 60 days in office and repeat it at least once every two-year congressional session.
The resolution, co-sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), also called to circulate an anonymous survey to gather more information about sexual harassment or similar inappropriate behavior in the Senate.
Until now, workplace harassment prevention training was optional for members of Congress and their staff. In the House, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has called for a review of sexual harassment training and reporting policies. Other trainings, such as for ethics and cybersecurity, are mandatory for employment in Congress.
This action in the Senate and push in the House comes on the heels of several reports from the Washington Post and Politico demonstrating just how pervasive harassment is in the Washington power center. Several current and former female members of Congress have since shared their own experiences being harassed by their male colleagues.
As sexual harassment awareness grows as a national flashpoint, all eyes are on the high-stakes, high-pressure environment in Congress, where the striking power imbalance between low-paid employees and Read More Here