Murray Cantwell sign antiharassment letter

first_imgAll 22 female U.S. senators signed a letter Wednesday calling on Senate leadership to reform congressional sexual harassment and discrimination rules. Signees include Washington’s Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.“Everyone deserves to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination,” the letter reads.The senators write they are disappointed that no “meaningful” reform has occurred to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.In November, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 330. The resolution requires anti-harassment and discrimination training for Senate staff and senators once a session.“While this training requirement was a significant step to address workplace harassment, there was broad, bipartisan agreement at that time that more had to be done to support survivors,” the letter continues.The CAA, however, “continues to require survivors to endure an antiquated dispute resolution process, including a monthlong counseling session, forced mediation and a 30-day ‘cooling off’ period before a victim can make a decision whether to pursue justice in a courtroom or continue with administrative procedures,” the senators write.Meanwhile, the U.S. House approved mitigating legislation in February, which includes the elimination of a waiting period before victims can seek a court case, more transparency surrounding awards and settlements and requiring House and Senate members to pay an award or settlement related to sexual harassment or discrimination they commit.A survey cited in the letter states that four out of every 10 congressional staffers think sexual harassment is a problem — and one out of every six women say they are victims of sexual harassment.last_img

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