Addressing Sexual Harassment by Modifying the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995: A Look at Key Provisions in H.R. 4822 [January 29, 2018]   [open pdf - 332KB]

"Recently, some Members of the House announced H.R. 4822 (the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act), one of the most recent bills to propose potentially significant amendments to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (CAA), including to how harassment claims would be addressed and resolved in the legislative branch. On February 5, 2018, the bill is scheduled for markup by the House Administration Committee. For most of its history, Congress had exempted itself, and the United States as a whole, from workplace discrimination laws. The legal landscape changed in 1995 when Congress passed the CAA, which extended antidiscrimination laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, among others, to legislative branch employees. While these federal laws have been interpreted to prohibit much harassment in the workplace, in recent months, many commentators have pointed to the possible inadequacy of the CAA's procedures concerning how claims of harassment are handled and resolved. In particular, criticism has been raised about the CAA's allowance for confidential settlements with victims, payments for those settlements with taxpayer funds, and the CAA's provision for mandatory counseling and mediation in response to a complaint."

Report Number:CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10067
Author:Freeman, Wilson C.
Back, Christine J.
Publisher:Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:application/pdf
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