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Politics Want to Know Who Else Has Been Accused of Sexual Harassment in Congress? Good Luck

02:25  08 december  2017
02:25  08 december  2017 Source:   rollcall.com

More than 200 US diplomats, civil servants and servicewomen say they’ve been harassed at work

  More than 200 US diplomats, civil servants and servicewomen say they’ve been harassed at work Just days after revelations of sexual harassment within the ranks of the US Congress, American women working in national security are speaking out, too. An…The letter was signed by 223 women, including 60 current and former ambassadors. The signatories are also current and former employees of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community, the military, the National Security Council and the US Agency for International Development. Others work for think tanks, university and other institutions related to national security.

Good Luck . Congressional offices can’t release basic details of complaints — even to lawmakers. The details of sexual harassment complaints against members of Congress and their staffs are Al Franken have been named by accusers and forced to announce their resignations in recent days

Congress will have to change federal law if it wants to reveal its own sexual harassment problems. At issue is the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, which was designed to subject lawmakers in Congress to the same harassment and discrimination laws that other American

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., says Congress must “fundamentally change” how sexual harassment complaints are handled. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) © Provided by CQ Roll Call, Inc. Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., says Congress must “fundamentally change” how sexual harassment complaints are handled. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The details of sexual harassment complaints against members of Congress and their staffs are secret and cannot be released to lawmakers seeking to determine the extent of the problem on Capitol Hill, a congressional official testified Thursday. 

“The law doesn’t allow us to release anything,” Susan Grundmann, the executive director of the office that oversees the response to sexual harassment complaints in Congress said at a hearing of the House Administrative Committee. If lawmakers want to know more — including the number of complaints filed and the names of the accused — they will have to change the law, she said. 

State, DHS respond to 223 women in national security field speaking out on sexual harassment

  State, DHS respond to 223 women in national security field speaking out on sexual harassment Women who have worked in the national security field are speaking out about having been victims of sexual harassment, abuse or assault or knowing others who are victims . A State Department spokesperson said that the department is updating its sexual harassment training in the wake of recent scandals. "The Department has two anti-harassment policies: one prohibiting sexual or gender-based harassment, and the other prohibiting harassment based on other protected discriminatory bases of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, and genetic information," the spokesperson said.

Because of public furor over sexual harassment and the decision by some female lawmakers to reveal their own experiences Even so, all the public knows is that since 1997, Congress has paid more than million to settle scores of Congress has never been particularly good at policing itself.

who have engaged in sexual harassment , further exposing an institution that has been accused of looking away from sexual misconduct. Speier did not name the two representatives as part of her testimony at a high-profile hearing on workplace sexual harassment in Congress .

That response is the latest of a series of frustrations met by lawmakers who are scrambling to respond to a  national focus on sexual harassment in some of Americans most powerful institutions, fueled in part by allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump. The wave of claims that followed has felled high-ranking men in private industries, including the media.

In Congress, two senior lawmakers, Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Al Franken have been named by accusers and forced to resign in recent days — Franken announced his resignation Thursday. But overall the response has been slower than in other industries, stymied in part by a system of reporting and responding to sexual harassment complaints that has not been revised since 1995. Thursday’s hearing was the second aimed at addressing shortcomings in that process. 

Americans Deny Harassment In Their Own Workplace

  Americans Deny Harassment In Their Own Workplace Only 9 percent of Americans believe harassment could be an issue in their office.Only 9 percent of Americans believe that sexual harassment is a problem in their own workplace, but 80 percent say it is a problem in other workplaces, according to the NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll. The poll was published shortly after Today Show anchor Matt Lauer was fired for accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of female employees.

House lawmakers hold hearing on sexual harassment in Congress . One aide who works in the If a congressional aide wants to file a formal complaint with the OOC, they must first engage in 30 The female congresswoman who told CNN that she has been sexually harassed by her male colleagues

Sexual harassment is often about the power dynamic, and men occupy more positions of power. Still, there are exceptions that prove the rule: On Friday, a Democratic candidate for Congress in "Most good plaintiffs attorneys who handle discrimination and harassment claims take on R. Kelly, 51, a singer, has been accused of sexual abuse, sexual coercion and physical violence by multiple

“This is a watershed moment and we need to take this opportunity to really fundamentally change in how we address this in Congress” and beyond, said Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va.

Comstock said later that the committee agrees on some revisions to the law and is working to release draft legislation, “as early as we can get it right.”Areas of consensus include new protections for victims, such as a counselor or ombudsman who would advocate for their interests throughout the process.

Lawmakers would also like to prohibit the use of taxpayer money to pay for sexual harassment settlements. They are also considering some prohibition on non-disclosure agreements that prohibit victims from speaking out about their experience, she said.

She added that she would be in favor of changing the part of the law that prohibits the release of basic information about complaints and settlements. Such regulations have made it difficult to understand the extent of the problem, she and other lawmakers have said. 

Accuser says GOP lawmaker black-balled her from finding another job after settling sexual harassment suit

  Accuser says GOP lawmaker black-balled her from finding another job after settling sexual harassment suit The former communications director for GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold says in a new interview that she was "blackballed" in politics after accusing the Texas lawmaker of sexually harassing her."I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, 'blackballed' if I came forward. That's exactly what happened," Lauren Greene told "I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, 'blackballed' if I came forward. ... That's exactly what happened," Lauren Greene told Politico Monday, in her first interview since she made the accusations against the Farenthold in 2014.

“People who are accused of sexual harassment often act in a way that is boorish or immature,” Perez noted. “Research shows that people who act But I went immediately to my manager to report what had happened because I didn’t want to be accused of harassing her! I know this isn’t nearly

The accusations against Mr. Farenthold have been public for several years; what was not known until Friday was that the taxpayers financed an Details of the ,000 settlement emerged Friday as part of an extensive review of sexual harassment and discrimination in congressional offices being

Congressional offices have paid at least $359,450 for six claims in five years, $84,000 of which was to a sexual harassment claim against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, according to data released last week by the House Administration Committee and media reports. That data, from the Congressional Office of Compliance, does not include settlements paid out of members’ own office budgets. 

In a follow-up request, the House Ethics Committee, which also has jurisdiction over harassment complaints, asked the Office of Compliance for all its records on complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or other prohibited actions by sitting members of Congress or their staffs. That request was denied in a letter Ethics Committee Chairwoman Susan Brooks received Thursday morning.

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Kihuen won't launch re-election bid amid sexual harassment allegations .
Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) announced on Saturday that he would not launch a re-election bid amid allegations of sexual assault against him."It is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek re- election," Kihuen told The Las Vegas Review-Journal in a statement.The news comes a day after the House Ethics Committee announced it was pursuing a probe into the allegations against the freshman congressman."I want to state clearly again that I deny the allegations in question," he said.

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