harassment

Trump appointees routinely bullied State Department staffers, IG reports
Numerous employees subjected to ‘disrespectful,’ ‘hostile’ and ‘inappropriate’ treatment

Two top officials at the State Department engaged in "generally unprofessional behavior" toward staffers, the inspector general's report found. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

A long-awaited investigation by the State Department’s inspector general concluded in a report released Thursday that multiple career employees were subjected to “disrespectful,” “hostile” and “inappropriate” treatment at the hands of political appointees.

The review specifically focused on allegations of political retaliation against career employees at the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, which leads and coordinates U.S. policy toward the United Nations. For over a year, House and Senate Democrats have pushed for a thorough investigation into whistleblower complaints and news reports that political appointees were vetting career employees at the State Department and retaliating against those they deemed insufficiently loyal to President Donald Trump and his administration’s conservative agenda.

House offices on timeline to implement anti-harassment policies
The House took steps to further codify protections following last year’s dispute over how Congress should prevent harassment and discrimination

House offices have 60 days to implement an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House took steps Thursday to further codify a more appropriate culture on Capitol Hill, following last year’s prolonged dispute over how Congress should protect its own staff from harassment and discrimination.

The House Administration Committee voted to approve regulations for mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies for House offices. 

House moves to protect federal interns from harassment and discrimination

The House voted on a measure by Rep. Eijah Cummings, D-Md., to protect federal interns from workplace harassment and discrimination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House took action Tuesday to protect the youngest members of the federal workforce, interns, from workplace harassment and discrimination.

The House passed by voice vote a measure from Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, that would extend certain federal employee protections to unpaid interns in the federal government. Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and a version of his measure also passed in the 115th Congress.

Jackie Speier and Bradley Byrne Aim to End Taxpayer Settlements for Discrimination
House lawmakers want to go beyond compromise measure that passed Thursday

House lawmakers, including California Rep. Jackie Speier, already have plans to expand discrimination protections beyond the sexual harassment measure passed Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress on Thursday passed new sexual harassment rules governing lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill, but House lawmakers already have plans to expand protections beyond what’s included in the compromise measure.

“This bill isn’t perfect, but that’s part of what the legislative process is about,” California Democrat Jackie Speier said Thursday. “We have decided to get this on the books to change the system that was woefully inadequate and then come back next year.”

Lawmakers Reach Deal to Tackle Sexual Harassment on Capitol Hill
New agreement would end heavily criticized ‘cooling off’ period

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is displayed on the West Front of the Capitol on Monday. The noble fir was harvested on Nov. 2 from Willamette National Forest in Oregon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress will act quickly on compromise legislation to overhaul how sexual harassment is handled on Capitol Hill. The new proposal, released Wednesday, has the backing of leadership in both chambers and parties.

Negotiations to reconcile the separate House and Senate proposals that passed easily early this year have dragged on for months. But swift action is expected in the Senate this week and the House the following week.

Former Hill Staffers Who Were Victims of Sexual Harassment Call for Leaders to Act
Differences still being worked out between House bill passed bill in February and Senate version passed in May

Seven former Capitol Hill staffers penned a letter Thursday urging action on sexual harassment policies in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seven former congressional staffers who experienced sexual harassment or assault while working on Capitol Hill sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday urging them to enact changes to harassment and discrimination policies. 

“We write to remind you, and every member of the 115th Congress, not only of the pain we suffered, but also of the shame and humiliation that current staffers must bear when they too are victimized by harmful and discriminatory actions from a member of Congress, a supervisor, or a colleague,” wrote the seven women.

Electronic Campaign Filing and McCain Gratuity Included in Spending Package
First-time pay for interns, boost for Capitol Police are also included

Requirements for Senate candidate campaign filing and a payment to late Sen. John McCain's family are included in a spending deal struck Monday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Appropriators are making a move to boost transparency for the historically opaque Senate with a provision to require candidates to file their campaign disclosures electronically.

House and Senate appropriators came to an agreement Monday on a roughly $147.4 billion fiscal 2019 three-bill spending package that includes a $4.8 billion Legislative Branch title to fund Congress, the Capitol Police and other Capitol Hill agencies. The package also includes the Energy-Water and Military Construction-VA titles.

Lobbying Groups Join Fight Against Sexual Harassment
‘We just have not had anyone come out and report it just yet, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t or isn’t happening.’

K Street sign at 15th and K Streets in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Major advocacy and government affairs groups are joining the fight against workplace sexual harassment in Washington.

Groups announced Wednesday the formation of a task force to develop a plan to protect professionals from harassment, with the goal of creating guidelines, standards and programs to support harassment victims.

Negotiations Over Sexual Harassment Bills Continue, but No Timetable Yet
Lawmakers report progress on reconciling House, Senate approaches

House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss., says he and his colleagues are making progress on reconciling sexual harassment legislation from the two chambers, but a time frame for enactment is unclear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as lawmakers and staff work to reconcile legislation passed by the House and Senate to curb sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, a timeline for enacting the bills is unclear, months after they were fast-tracked for floor votes.

“We’re confident we are going to get there at some point. We’re not quite there,” House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper of Mississippi said.