WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the introduction of H.R. 4822, sponsored by Congressman Gregg Harper(R-Miss.):
“Thanks to courageous women who have been speaking up around the country, we know that sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a pervasive problem. The United States Congress is no exception.
In a rare showing of bipartisanship, representatives developed H.R. 4822 to streamline and strengthen its internal procedures for resolving complaints of workplace harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment.
No one, especially lawmakers, should be above the law. This bill makes it clear that members of Congress will be held personally liable if found to have committed discrimination or sexual harassment in violation of the law. And victims will be given more protection and offered legal assistance to pursue their claims. Reporting and transparency are also increased. This bill is an important step toward enacting meaningful change for workplace harassment and discrimination that occurs in Congress.”
Earlier this week, The Leadership Conference and nearly 100 other organizations sent a letter to congressional leadership with recommendations on changes that are needed to the complaint, dispute resolution, and reporting processes, many of which are incorporated in this bill. That letter is available here.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.