“Congress makes its own rules about the handling of sexual complaints against members and staff, passing laws exempting it from practices that apply to other employers. The result is a culture in which some lawmakers suspect harassment is rampant. Yet victims are unlikely to come forward,” the Washington Post reports.
“Under a law in place since 1995, accusers may file lawsuits only if they first agree to go through months of counseling and mediation. A special congressional office is charged with trying to resolve the cases out of court. When settlements do occur, members do not pay them from their own office funds, a requirement in other federal agencies. Instead, the confidential payments come out of a special U.S. Treasury fund. Congressional employees have received small settlements compared to the amounts some public figures pay out. Between 1997 and 2014, the U.S. Treasury has paid $15.2 million in 235 awards and settlements for Capitol Hill workplace violations.”Save to Favorites