Paul Ryan Announces That US House Will Mandate Sexual Harassment Training


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.

"All they ask in return as staff members is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment", she continued.

Comstock - who worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer early in her career and served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to represent Northern Virginia's 10th District a year ago - said Congress needs more training and stronger safeguards in place to ensure women don't have to give up their careers to escape sexually aggressive behavior.

The announcement comes shortly after the Committee on House Administration held a hearing during which two female lawmakers shared stories about current members of Congress engaging in sexual harassment.

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WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday announced that members of the House of Representatives and staff will have to undergo mandatory training regarding sexual harassment.

The account of the member exposing himself, Comstock said, is "probably a crime".

A Republican congresswoman said Tuesday she was told recently by a trusted source that a member of Congress exposed himself to a staffer.

The current process for reporting sexual harassment, which goes through the congressional Office of Compliance, is "constructed to protect the institution - and to impede the victim from getting justice" she told Politico. She did not know the identity of the congressman.

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The bill has gained bipartisan support.

The staffer subsequently quit, Comstock said.

One Republican lawmaker, Rodney Davis of IL, said addressing the issue of sexual harassment on the Hill is "long overdue" and that Congress must "lead by example". Last month, Rep. Speier publicly shared her story of being sexually harassed by the chief of staff in her office when she was a staffer. But he expressed concern that the increasing focus on gender hostility in the workplace could create unintended consequences, including "that some offices may just take a short cut and not hire women as a way to avoid these issues".

With each passing day, new revelations of sexual misconduct continue to rock the political sphere. One Senate aide said it's "a sort of old school, Wild West workplace culture that has a lot of "work hard, play hard" ethos and without the sort of standard professionalism that you find in more traditional workplaces".

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