In the wake of the #metoo movement, companies and organizations are taking note of the fact that many policies that deal with sexual harassment and abuse are either woefully outdated or nonexistent. Congress did not come to this conclusion regarding its own members until recently. Last week, they finally approved an overhaul of its process for handing sexual harassment claims. In the past year, almost one dozen lawmakers resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Lawmakers, including those who resign, will now be financially liable for any settlements that result from their harassment or retaliation, and there are no caps on liability. The new bill will also stop mandating a required period of counseling, mediation, and “cooling off” before the victim can file a lawsuit or request an administrative hearing.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi commented: “Today, the Congress made historic progress to uphold human dignity and protect the inalienable right to live free from harassment or abuse. This bill protects everyone in our legislative community from workplace abuse and helps foster a climate of respect and dignity in our institution.”
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the new legislation soon.