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

Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Sexual Harassment in Congress

"They want the system fixed and the perpetrators held accountable", she said.

During testimony before the Committee on House Administration on Tuesday, Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) stated there are two current members of Congress, one Republican, and one Democrat who have sexually harassed people.

The Committee on House Administration is now reviewing the policies in place to address sexual harassment within the Congress.

The allegations come as the entertainment industry and others are reeling from dozens of accusations of sexual harassment, assault and rape, propelled by a litany of complaints against director Harvey Weinstein. As Republicans distance themselves from Moore, lawmakers in the House and Senate are working to address sexual misconduct in the Congressional workplace. Ranking Member Robert Brady, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, called it the body's "moral responsibility and obligation" to protect girls and women from abuse.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Virginia), a member of the committee that Speier was speaking to, shared a story she had heard of a congressman exposing himself to a female staffer after the staffer dropped materials off at his residence.

There is now no requirement for sexual harassment training in the House of Representatives, but individual offices may voluntarily have their staffs attend trainings offered by the Office of Compliance.

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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".

"I have had numerous meetings and phone calls with staff members, both present and former, women and men, who have been subjected to this inexcusable and often times illegal behavior", she told the House Administration Committee.

"Leadership within each office is also important, and letting the employees know where they can go to complain is vitally important", Childs Wallace told lawmakers. If a member of Congress has been accused, they receive a House lawyer to represent them for free while the accuser does not receive free counsel. Once those 90 days are up, the victim can then file a formal complaint.

She also noted that cases between staff members and lawmakers are "very rare" and that mediation cases are overwhelmingly between two staff members.

Congressional leaders said they are ready to order mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for all offices of the U.S. House, but there is no timetable for getting that done.

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