Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

A Member of Congress Exposed Himself to a Staffer, Lawmakers Say

A Member of Congress Exposed Himself to a Staffer, Lawmakers Say

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

It comes amid growing calls for an overhaul of the way Congress handles allegations of sexual harassment, including a letter signed by more than 1,500 former Hill staffers who want to see reform for what they say are "inadequate" sexual harassment policies in Congress. "She left, and then she quit her job".

"What are we doing for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?" she asked.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) also told the committee that incidents of sexual harassment and assault were likely being conducted by current House members, telling the story of an unnamed representative who allegedly showed their genitals to a female staffer. As Republicans distance themselves from Moore, lawmakers in the House and Senate are working to address sexual misconduct in the Congressional workplace.

According to Comstock, when the aide arrived, the lawmaker opened the door only wearing a towel, invited the staffer inside and then exposed himself.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), a member on the committee, also said she had heard of a congressman who is now serving who had exposed himself to a young female staffer.

Comstock did not name the member of Congress, whose name wasn't disclosed to her.

'I'm not at liberty to discuss those cases, ' she said, adding that increased transparency is crucial to combatting harassment.

Speier sat front and center at a U.S. House hearing on sex harassment and said Congress isn't policing itself almost enough.

Gloria Lett, counsel for the Office of House Employment Counsel, replied that such discrimination is illegal.

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. On a voice vote, lawmakers adopted a bipartisan resolution calling for training within 60 days of the measure's passage.

With each passing day, new revelations of sexual misconduct continue to rock the political sphere.

Under the current system, staffers must undergo months of counseling and mediation with the employing office before they can formally file a complaint.

One lawmaker, Republican Rodney Davis of IL, said that some female staffers in his office anxious that "some offices might take a shortcut and not hire women as a way to avoid these issues".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have now called on him to drop out of the race, while the editorial board of the Alabama Media Group branded him "grossly unfit for office".

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