(Washington, D.C.) For the first time in over 20 years, Congress passed a bill today to reform how it addresses harassment, retaliation, and other forms of workplace discrimination. The bill extends protections from harassment and discrimination to more individuals, including interns; substantially improves the reporting and claim resolution process; provides supports for survivors; and strengthens accountability for harassers, including by requiring Members of Congress to reimburse taxpayer funds used to settle harassment and retaliation claims against them.
The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):
“A year after survivors of sexual harassment and assault said #MeToo and called for justice and accountability, Congress has passed meaningful changes to protect the legislative workforce. We commend the bipartisan efforts in both chambers to ensure that this bill promotes safety, provides concrete solutions, and reforms a system that had previously been designed to protect Congress, not to support survivors.
“This achievement is a down payment on the work that remains. We urge the President to sign this legislation expeditiously, and look forward to working with the new Congress to ensure that members are held fully accountable for their actions — including reimbursing taxpayers when settling discrimination claims other than harassment — and to extend free legal representation to all staff challenging harassment and other forms of discrimination. Most importantly, Congress now must also turn its attention to reforms to address and prevent harassment in all workplaces; millions of working people deserve nothing less.”
For immediate release: December 13, 2018
Contact: Olympia Feil (firstname.lastname@example.org)