STATEMENT: CAP’s Jocelyn Frye Says the House’s Vote on Sexual Harassment Policy Is a Welcome Step Forward Yet Not Nearly Enough

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 4924 and H.Res. 724, in response to the #MeToo sexual misconduct awareness movement this fall. These measures include critical improvements to ensure a fairer process for claimants filing sexual harassment complaints, require congressional offices to undertake anti-harassment training on a regular basis, and establish an Office of Employee Advocacy where employees can seek legal assistance. Jocelyn Frye, senior fellow with the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement in response:

Today’s action by the U.S. House of Representatives approving two important measures to address sexual harassment in Congress is a welcome step forward. These measures send a clear message—that sexual harassment has no place in the workplace and that no one should have to endure any form of harassment as a condition of doing their job.

However, today’s action cannot be the end of the story. It is also important for policymakers to take action to address the persistent presence of sexual harassment in workplaces outside the halls of Congress. Thousands of workers confront sexual harassment every year, including women and men in every industry and occupation. Low-wage workers often work in industries with the highest numbers of sexual harassment claims, yet their experiences occur out of the spotlight and garner too little attention. There are concrete actions that Congress can take to make a difference for all workers. Further, there are other complementary actions—such as eliminating the tipped minimum wage and raising the minimum wage—critical to securing the economic security of women and their families.

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