Costello, Brady offer anti-harassment bill
Two Philadelphia area congressmen from differing parties have introduced a resolution that would make it mandatory for their colleagues to get anti-sexual harassment training, according to a news release.
U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6th, of West Goshen joined with U.S. Reps. Bob Brady, D-1st, of Philadelphia and two other representatives to offer the Congressional Education About Sexual Harassment Eradication Resolution (CEASE) Resolution last week.
This bipartisan resolution will require members of the House, congressional staff, and other employees of the House to complete sexual harassment prevention and response training annually, and then provide a certification of completion with the House Committee on Ethics.
“I believe mandatory compliance training for sexual harassment prevention and procedures for response should be instituted for members of Congress and all employees of the House,” Costello said in a release. “This resolution is an important step forward to establishing a clear standard and approach to addressing this issue.”
“The Congressional Office of Compliance process is shockingly biased in favor of the perpetrator. This legislation is the first step to fix this abusive process,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat of California who joined Costello and Brady. “It’s long past time that Congress held itself to the same standards applied to other branches of government and to the private sector.”
“Required training for members and staff on sexual harassment prevention should be quickly adopted by the House,” Brady said. “I applaud Representative Speier’s leadership on this issue, and this resolution is a necessary first step.”
“It is fundamental to an employee’s safety for he or she to always feel comfortable at their workplace, and it’s past time Capitol Hill move in that direction,” said U.S. Rep Poliquin,a Maine Republican who filled out the quartet of sponsors. “In Congress, we set the laws and the policies for employees in the Executive Branch requiring federal workers to undergo sexual harassment awareness training.
“How can we be expected to lead on those policies when we, ourselves, are so far behind?” he said. There can be no tolerance of any kind for sexual harassment anywhere — period."
The move comes after a series of scandals that have rocked Hollywood entertainment and the news media.
The issue drew the attention and support of House Majority Leader Paul Ryan. “I strongly encourage you to complete sexual harassment training and to mandate the training for your staff. We can and should lead by example,” Ryan said in a letter to members and staff. “Our goal must be a culture where everyone who works in our offices feels safe and able to fulfill their duties.”
Currently there is no requirement for sexual harassment training in the House of Representatives, although each individual office may elect to voluntarily have their staff attend training by the Office of Compliance.
Costello represents portions of Chester, Montgomery, Berks, and Lebanon counties.