Women’s Leader Applauds ‘Long-Overdue’ Reform of Congressional Harassment Procedures

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“Yesterday, members of Congress strengthened protections and accountability for harassment in the legislative workforce by passing long-overdue reform of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995. This bipartisan legislation would not have passed without the hard work and persistence of advocates and the momentum of the #MeToo movement.

Sexual harassment is one of many manifestations of power imbalances in the workplace. The arcane rules currently in place to address discrimination and harassment faced by Congressional staff — many of whom are women and people of color — exacerbate those power imbalances. This bipartisan legislation aims to correct some of these imbalances by extending protections to more individuals, providing more support for survivors, and holding members of Congress accountable to taxpayers, among other improvements. There is more to be done for legislative branch employees, but this is a strong step in the right direction.

We urge the president to sign this legislation immediately and we encourage members of Congress to work toward addressing harassment and discrimination in all workplaces.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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