US House to Adopt Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Members, Staffs

US House to Adopt Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Members, Staffs

US House to Adopt Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Members, Staffs

On Tuesday, speaking before the Committee on House Administration, Speier said that since launching #MeTooCongress, current and former staffers have flooded her office with stories of unwanted sexual advances, touching, and, in one case, exposure.

Comstock said the name of the lawmaker she mentioned wasn't disclosed to her, but emphasized that naming names is an important step in promoting accountability and encouraging victims to come forward.

Jackie Speier testified before the House Administration Committee that she knows of two current members of Congress who are guilty of sexual harassment - one Democrat and one Republican. As Republicans distance themselves from Moore, lawmakers in the House and Senate are working to address sexual misconduct in the Congressional workplace.

Two female House lawmakers on Tuesday accused sitting male lawmakers of sexual harassment and misconduct, including an allegation that a male lawmaker exposed his genitals to a female staffer.

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U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (D-Va.) said the U.S. House should consider a prohibition on members of Congress having sexual relationships with their own staffers.

'That kind of situation, what are we doing here for women, right now, who are dealing with someone like that?' Comstock asked.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have now called on him to drop out of the race, while the editorial board of the Alabama Media Group branded him "grossly unfit for office".

Following the hearing Tuesday, Ryan issued a statement saying, "Going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all Members and staff". Payouts to the victims were not financed by the people who engaged in sexual harassment but by taxpayers.

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She did not name the lawmakers mentioned in her testimony, citing the non-disclosure agreements she wants to eliminate.

Speier has introduced legislation to require annual sexual harassment awareness training for lawmakers and staff, who would have to file a certificate of completion with the House Ethics Committee.

Under the current system, staffers must undergo months of counseling and mediation with the employing office before they can formally file a complaint.

In the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, is proposing a bill that would streamline the reporting process in the Office of Compliance, the little-known office that handles such complaints.

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